Leadership is about passion, vision, goals, learning and growth. It’s about people, communication and relationships, about taking care of others.
It’s about serving them.
Leadership is about showing others that it’s good to go out from your comfort zone and challenge yourself and others. Leadership is about being an example that others would like to follow, about being a visualization of what you are saying and sharing. Being a leader means that sometimes you have to stand against, sometimes you have to make a difficult decision and it happens even when you don’t have enough information. Leadership is about forgetting your ego, about being humble, about taking risk, sharing successes and taking responsibility for failures. That’s what leadership means for me, that’s how I’m defining it.
Your definition can be different, but I’m pretty sure that both of us would find similarities between the two of them, because leadership is about taking what is the best in us and giving it to others. And it’s about challenging people to do the same.
So what about the title? Isn’t what I have already written true?
Of course not. But maybe you experienced a situation when after you spoke to your team or you heard somebody else giving a speech, you noticed this meaningful look which says “yeah, right” on somebody’s face. Were you there? Did you have to work with person who always summarizes “things like this” as a leadership bullshit? Something a leader thinks he has to say, that is exactly what his team want to hear, but there’s no truth in it?
It’s hard to convince such a person to believe in what we said, to start following the same things with passion. You can explain, you can paraphrase, but sometimes you just meet this great wall of unwillingness to treat it as something real.
What can we do in such a situation? What can we do to change something that other person always treats as a repeated (but never followed) cliché, into passion to follow and share among the other people he knows?
I think that each good leader has to know how to speak to people, and he shouldn’t believe only in his natural talent and intuition--he also needs to develop his communication skills and learn as much as he can about this. Not being able to manipulate people, but knowing how to communicate his thoughts as best as it’s possible, to know how to listen. To know how to lead. To know how to convince people to let them help. This is really important and I firmly believe that it doesn’t matter how much you will invest into growth in this area as it never will be too much.
Yet words are only the beginning of the journey.
Words must be followed by actions that cover them, which prove the truth in them. Actions and behaviors which show the people who don’t believe in truth of our word, that it’s for real, it’s not fake, those aren’t just nifty words learnt on some training.
It is hard to convince people who consider leadership as another buzzword invented only to make business life easier and take as much from employee as possible. However it’s doable, it just requires your patience and hard work as well as proofs which come from your activities.
Maybe this person has got bad experience with his previous leader who was nothing more than a talker? Maybe he has never seen person who truly believes that taking care of the others and investing in their development is one of our major responsibilities and opportunities? Maybe he has just heard those words many times but they were not backed with any activity? Regardless of the reason, treat it as an another challenge on your career path, as an opportunity to learn more about communication and sharing the values, as a possibility to show more proofs of your true intentions.
After all, as a leader, you are there not for yourself, but for those around you. The best gratification you can get as a leader is to be able to convince someone to accept your help and support, and help him or her grow as a person.