Do I have what it takes to lead?
I know that stepping into the shoes of a leader is different from being an individual contributor. As an individual contributor, I only worry about my own performance. But as a leader, the dynamic has changed. I am now responsible for the success of others. And that is not an easy task.
There’s a surmounting pressure to succeed at all costs. For the sake of my team. And the management’s belief that I am the best person to make a good team into a great one. Though in introspect, it is not about the number of my successes – it’s about the drive that propels me to succeed.
I am more concerned about making it happen than the prospect of succeeding. It may sound counterproductive, but this method does work. Where I focus my efforts and energy in the right place, I can achieve what I set out to do.
I must be direct, fair, and firm. I am involved with my team’s daily tasks and provide direction when they need it. I don’t play favorites. I consistently provide positive and negative reinforcement.
As the head of the team, I am a mentor and a coach. I help them see the bigger picture – by making them understand our team’s purpose. It’s a two-way process that inspires open communication for better collaboration between team members. Where we listen to each other’s inputs and insights – we are working together to create a plan to achieve more.
If I shift my focus on my people, instead of myself, I can demonstrate how I care for their well-being. I should remember that the first step to becoming an outstanding leader is being an outstanding follower. I should have the heart and the ability to serve others. When I support my team, it sends them a strong message that they can count on me. And that I will be there to back them up when they need me.