Want to learn how to be a leader? Stop thinking like a wanna be and simply go for it.
That’s what Les McKeown says in his latest post on Inc.com. The author of Predictable Success: Getting Your Organization on the Growth Track–and Keeping it There notices similar thought patterns for people who strive to become leaders.
Unfortunately, they end up sharing three reasons time and time again as excuses why they haven’t begun to lead.
1. I’m not in a leadership position. McKeown points out potential leaders indicate they’re not leaders because they’re not in a leadership position at the moment. Got that?
Well, it turns out leaders don’t officially become leaders when they’re in a leadership role; instead, they’re recognized for leadership and then given the opportunity for new roles to lead.
If you’ve heard about acting as if, well that’s precisely what needs to be done. Start today. Begin where you are. Maybe you don’t have a team to lead right now, that’s fine. He writes,
“Find ways to do what you do, better. Step in when others are uncertain. Be generous and unsparing with your ideas, (thought-through) opinions and time. Take risks. Be creative and flexible. Above all, add value. And do it now, from where you are.”
2. I need someone’s permission. Sometimes people need to feel validation in terms of special letters after their name whereas others need the corner office or specific job description to outline leadership responsibilities.
McKeown dismisses all of that and says to get started the only person you need to get permission from is yourself!
Begin to lead and after that point yes, you’ll need other people’s permission such as acceptance but you’ll “never know until you start and the only person who can fire the starting gun on your leadership is…you.”
3. I have this role model… / I can’t find a role model… Again, more excuses. See points number one and two above. Simply get started.