I’ve been coaching, and teaching leaders for over 15 years. The first question I ask a leader is “are you ready?”. Leadership is like an obstacle course; there are some skills and situations that you’ll be really great at and there are others that you’ll be challenged by. The reality is that you ultimately determine how ready you are to progress through either side of the situation. Here's 4 questions that you can ask yourself to know if you’re ready to lead.
1.Do You Know Your Why?
One of my favorite motivational speakers , Eric Thomas, pushes this idea really hard! His message is to do things with purpose, whether that’s pursuing a better job, family life, social life, etc. Knowing your "why" in leadership better prepares you to develop your goals. Your "why" helps you clarify your values and beliefs. It tells your team and/or community your desired destination and that you are passionate about it.
2. Who Are You Leading?
Knowing who you are leading and the challenges they face is key to building trust. Trust is a key component in leadership because people need to believe that you’ll meet their needs. People truly trust leaders who can find value in the individuals that they are serving. When you know who you’re leading, you know how to motivate and inspire them. An inspired and motivated person will push themselves to give you their best work.
3. Do You Notice Talents, Skills, and Abilities in Others?
Excellent leaders have a keen eyesight for natural talents, skills, and abilities. The book Good to Great talks about having the “right people on the bus and in the right seats”. Leaders should always be noticing the growth and development of their team; getting everyone in the right roles will help the team achieve the best results.
4. Can You Challenge and Support and Be Challenged and Supported?
Pride is the enemy of progress. You don’t always have to be right. Great leaders are actually okay with being wrong because they have built a network of trust. They recognize that the people in their team have great ideas, many times, they have the best ideas. There is beauty in supporting others and being supported by others. When done well, you can be as vulnerable as you want and get the best results out of individuals and teams.