by Chris Ireland & Jacob Robinson
Think about the greatest leaders in history. Individuals like Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, and Margaret Thatcher might come to mind. Do you know what made them or for that matter any leaders in your life, great? No one is born into leadership and no one can make you a leader. Leadership is earned. Becoming a leader takes time, dedication, and passion!
Do you want to be a leader? Whether you work for the (wo)man, or you are the (wo)man, you can be a leader! It won’t happen overnight, but, asking yourself these five questions on a consistent basis will help you become the leader you want to be!
1 – Do I Eat Last?
Commitment. Any great leader is completely committed and devoted to their team. Are you? Why would you not be? Your team is what makes you a leader to begin with.
The military is a great example of this concept. Officers in the military always eat last. The most junior cadets always eats first. You see, leadership is not about rank and power. Leadership is about a responsibility for others. To earn the respect of your team, always eat last! Do you eat last?
2 – Am I Liquid?
“Change in Inevitable. Change is Constant.” – Benjamin Disraeli (British Prime Minister)
In life (and definitely in business), things change, and nothing truly stays the same. You can either love it, or hate it, but great leaders embrace it.
Leaders look at change as a new challenge and not an obstacle. To become a great leader you must have that mentality. You must be versatile, because versatile individuals can always be counted on by their teams and counterparts. Are you liquid?
3 – Am I Safe, or Am I Courageous?
When have you ever heard of a leader who’s played it safe? Almost never. Great leaders don’t stand in the background, they step up! As a leader you must challenge the status quo.
To challenge an idea, procedure, or structure when acting in the best interest of your company is never a bad thing. Furthermore, leaders support other who challenge the status quo. Are you courageous?
4 – Can I Trust Others With My Own Success?
Remember that cheesy game at camp where you fall backwards off of a platform, hopefully landing into the waiting arms of a teammate? That’s trust. Trust goes a long way. When you can trust the individuals around you with your success, you have the freedom to lead! Do you trust others with your success?
5 – What Do People Say About Me When I Leave the Room?
Have you ever thought about this? If you haven’t, stop, close your eyes, and think about this for 15 seconds…
Great leaders have great brands and just like businesses, leaders must maintain those brands. Every word and every action that you make molds your brand. How consistent is your brand? Brand consistency is key to loyalty and leadership. Make sure your personal brand is always top-of-mind! What do people say about you?
Don’t Forget This Important Leadership Distinction
There is no direct correlation between being a manager and being a leader. A leader doesn’t have to be a manager, and just because you’re a manager, that doesn’t mean you’re a leader. Leaders exist or for that matter, do not exist, in all levels of organizations…from the very top to the very bottom.