The Leadership Myth – I

Hello All, it’s a wonderful feeling to be alive this first Friday of September 2019!! The tribute song “September” by Kirk Franklin is booming in the background as I write today.

So in a blink of an eye, we are LIVE in Q4 ( the “EMBER” months) & in a few days we will welcome the year 2020.

As usual, how are you doing in the light of your goals & targets set earlier in the year? Are you on track or off? No matter the situation dont give up on yourself now, you have all it takes to make it on your inside & you will get to cross the line, it’s just a matter of time.

We would like to sincerely appreciate everyone who has joined this train, who reads our posts, follows this blog, makes comments & share these posts with others. You, all are the reason we are still here.

The “Cultivating A Growth Mindset” series is by far the longest we’ve embarked on since the inception of this blog & we are currently at the point of discussing the Leadership Myth.

It’s taken this long & it lends credence to the fact that changing of a mindset is the most difficult thing to do (especially when the subject is still in denial about the need for change)

To catch-up on this topic, please click the link below:

THE LEADERSHIP MYTH

We tried to bust the very first myth about leadership ( Another blogger reached out to me on this, she writes about myth busters & we just clicked), which is:

Leaders are born not made

Everyone is born with the innate gift to lead, rule & reign (Gen 1: 28), however that potential needs to be worked on, refined & brought out.

That takes process & time which is really the art of making something. Nothing of real value is on the surface, Gold, Diamond & Precious Stones are buried deep down in the belly of the earth & it takes work to get it out & make it look awesome.

So don’t condemn yourself, if you are not there yet, everyone is a leader & you have your audience & circle of influence waiting on you to display your giftings, please don’t let them down.

As previously stated, I’ve been reading since last month the book of Dr. Alex Ihama titled “The Mystique of Leadership (How to become an exceptional Leader) & it just gels with the leadership myth topic in the series.

Let’s look at the next myth:

Having a position makes you a leader!!

This is another major myth, I’ve seen over the years of studying people in position authority that it’s not the position that makes the leader, the leader makes the position. You see instances of people forcing themselves on others on the basis of their position, making them comply to orders, instructions & directives.

Looking at the 5 levels of leadership ( by John C. Maxwell), it’s the base level of leadership. I call it baby step leadership, everyone starts from there but if you remain there after a while, then you become a dictator & a bully.

Those who remain in Level 1 do not think of those who report to them as team members or colleagues —rather, they consider them their subordinates or slaves.

A level 1 leader will find it very difficult to manage volunteers, young people, highly intelligent & highly educated people.

I think it was Steve Jobs that said “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do.”

Looking at the practical skills required to be a leader, we mentioned 2 previously :

  1. Reward & Encourage learning through trial & error
  2. Learn to grow into your role as a leader

The next skill is

Third, learn as you go and don’t wait for all the answers

If you wait until you know exactly what you’re doing before you feel confident in leading others and projects, you’ll never be ready.

The key is to learn as you go, figuring out next steps along the way.

I love a portion of Maya Angelou’s poem it says “Let your fall be part of your dance” Dont wait for the perfect time or season, just do it anyway, do it scared but do it nonetheless!!

I’ve led a couple of successful teams & projects that at the start I didn’t have a clue on how to get it done, but I just started it anyway with a high level of articulation & confidence that the clients or my managers think I’ve got it all figured out. I am the only one in the room that know that i’m quacking in my boots. In project management it’s called Progressive Elaboration

Fourth, ask others for feedback

If you want to get better at anything, you need to seek the perspective of others. You want to know how you come across, what you do well, and where you could develop as a leader.

Feedback is a great developmental tool & if used very well can produce awesome results. As an Engineer, in control systems I was taught about open loop & close loop systems.

An open loop control system acts completely on the basis of input and the output has no effect on the control action. – A closed loop control system considers the current output and alters it to the desired condition.

The control action in these systems is based on the output & the main aspect of a closed loop control system is FEEDBACK

I do this regularly & also encourage my team members to do same, in fact I sometimes ask other colleagues outside my team for feedback about myself or a member of my team strictly for developmental purpose & not for appraisals.

This is the reason why some organizations adopt the 360 degree appraisal strategy. This will only work in an environment that allows openness, void of prejudice & toxicity.

Fifth, be flexible and adaptable in your approach

Get comfortable with changing your opinions and direction to achieve results.

I am a stickler for process, procedure & all of that, however I also realize the need to be flexible & adaptable. It seems confusing for a lot of people around me as sometimes I stubbornly stick to the process & other times I just let things slide without saying a word.

I love this quote from Dr Mike Murdock, he says “Wisdom is the ability to recognize differences”. I see differences on a regular basis & I tend not to deal with 2 situations the same way ( even if the look similar), I dig deep to see the uniqueness as all projects are.

Telling others you won’t always have the answers and you’re open to new ideas and opinions that may shape the strategy you choose will positively impact how your team see you.

It will also empower your team to know they can help you to shape the strategy. As you know, leaders are made, not born. You don’t have to be a natural leader. You just need to use the principles that will help you to develop and lead with a growth mindset.

My alarm just went off now, signals it’s time to go….Allow me drop the gist now & we will surely catch-up soon.

Are you still a Level 1 leader?

What are you doing practically to move your leadership to the next level?

What leadership skills are you grooming?

This is another long snippet …….. I AM SHALOMESQ