The Art of Leading Coaching & Influencing Others: Privilege & Calling vs. Entitlement
When you look at how most companies select leaders, it is a rather simple process.
We take a great performer (because they achieved great results) offer them more money, a prestigious title, a bigger office or cubicle, and sit back and think “How in the world could they not want to be a leader?”
We don’t always have a great vetting process in place because we are in a hurry and so we end up putting a body in a position instead of a person with a true desire to lead. Our hope is that as a leader, they will achieve the same results they did as an individual contributor … only times 10.
It gets worse when we don’t offer leadership training or development because we assume their leader will handle it. Or we assume they know how to Lead, Coach, & Influence Others or they will learn as they go and figure it all out.
What can complicate the matter further is if the leader feels that they are qualified to lead simply because they were successful as an individual contributor and earned their stripes. They may believe that people should follow them because of their title, position, or previous accomplishments.
These types of managers or supervisors don’t understand that the true job of a leader is to develop their people. It isn’t about doing the work … IT IS about influencing their people to do the work. Not by telling them, but by guiding them and using the art of leading, coaching, and influencing and asking great questions.
If you hold the pseudo-belief that you can control others just based on your title or position you’re in for a big surprise. If you believe people will follow you or must follow you because of your title or position you’re in for an even bigger surprise.
Being a leader is not easy! At times it may be the most difficult thing you have ever done in your life besides raising your children. It requires dedication and a commitment. A commitment so strong that you have to lean in so far that you can’t go back. It is truly a privilege and if you don’t feel called to be a leader then I seriously doubt that you should follow the path. You’re better staying an individual contributor.
If you’re interested in seeing exactly where your mindset is in regards to whether your leadership is a privilege/calling or an entitlement answer the following 5 questions as honestly as possible:
- Were you promoted to a leadership position because you were a great individual contributor?
- Do you love the title, the money, and the prestige of being a leader and if you could rid yourself of the people (issues) you would be much happier?
- Do you spend more then 50% of your time wishing you were doing something else, somewhere else, for someone else?
- Was the first time you truly thought about being a leader when they asked you to interview for the leadership position or offered it to you?
- Do you feel that your people should follow you because you are their boss, leader, manager, etc.?
If you answered yes to 3 or more of these questions you need to seriously consider whether or not you belong in a leadership position. Life is too short to be unhappy or to make other folks unhappy.
Being a leader is a privilege and if you don’t feel called to do the work it might be best to exit gracefully while you can …
Otherwise the day will come when it won’t be your choice … and it most likely won’t be so graceful either.