We can all use some reminders on leadership. Here are a few tips I’ve shared with the leadership team at Benefitfocus to help and encourage you along your journey:
- Have courage. I learned early in my career that courage is doing the right thing despite having fear. Prior to learning that, I thought that courageous people had no fear at all. As a leader you will need to step into situations and go places that will have some risk and may make you feel uncomfortable. This is a simple reminder that sometimes putting one foot in front of the other is more than half the role. I find it helpful to include several people you like and trust during these times. Leadership does not have to be lonely. As the leader, you get to bring people with you to help yourself overcome your fears!
- Have fun. People like to have fun. As a leader you have to make it clear that fun is allowed. You are bringing people together to accomplish the task at hand, so you might as well enjoy the journey. Don't wait to have fun until after the work is done. If you are successful, you will be asked to do more work. Build fun into the process.
- Serve. There is nothing contradictory between leading and serving. For some strange reason people often think the leader has to be catered to in a special way. It is as if the leader all of a sudden loses the ability to take out the trash. Don't over think the leadership role or peoples' expectations of the role. Just do what you know to be right. If the dishes need washed or someone needs to stay late to lock up, you are as good as anyone else to fulfill the task. Stay grounded and help people as your leadership responsibilities expand. It will serve you well in the long run.