So we get a lot of questions from
people who work in toxic leadership environments and they ask,
what are they to do? How do they
be the leader they wish they had? Well, being the leader you wish you had
means you commit yourself to the care and success of
those around you. Remember, leadership has nothing to do with rank. I know many people who sit
at the highest levels of organizations who are not leaders.
They have authority, which is why we do as they tell us but we would not follow them.
Leadership can happen at any rank. The choice you have to make is do you want to be the leader?
Now leadership comes with risks. If you speak truth to power,
you could get in trouble. If you’re the one who stands in between the powers that be
and the people that you work with, if you’re gonna commit yourself to work late sometimes
to help people and make those sacrifices, you’re gonna have to take those risks. That’s why not everyone wants to be a leader because it does come with real
sacrifice and real risk. But if you want to be that person, if you want to be the leader
you wish you had, you look to your left,
you look to your right and you say,
how can I help them succeed? Number one:
if you see somebody on your team struggling ask them if they’re okay. Ask them if you can help.
If you know that somebody doesn’t know how to do something, sit down and show them. Ask them if you want them to
double check your work. Remember, a big way in which
we build trust is not actually by offering for help but also
asking for help. So one of the things you can do by being a leader is also asking for those
around you to help. Let them feel like they’re empowered to help those around them
and in the course of time you will build a level of trust on your team
that they will see you as the person who has their back. And you get used to it.
It’s a practice like many other like any other skills.
You want to ride a bicycle, you have to practice,
you get good at it. Leadership is the same. Get in the habit of
considering the lives of others. If someone’s running for the elevator,
the doors are closing, you’re running late for a meeting.
Instead of just letting the doors close, hold the door open for somebody.
If you’re the last person to pour yourself a cup of coffee at the office,
instead of putting the empty pot back make another pot of coffee. It’s little, little things
where you consider those around you, the lives of others,
sometimes ahead of yourself and be willing to sacrifice time and energy
to help those around you.