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Is Leadership Right for You?
March 3, 2020
Professors known as outstanding lecturers do two things; they use a simple plan and many examples.
-W. McKeachie

In an article on the advantageperformance.com website, Katrin Schwabe writes about how tough it is for most people to lead others. She explains: “For some of us, leading comes naturally. For most, however, it’s hard – even under the best of conditions. And it takes us by surprise when it really shouldn’t. This is because leading people is not easy. It is complex. It can be frustrating. It is time-consuming. It’s about emotions and expectations.

Leading people is about mobilizing and optimizing the talent and skills of yourself and others in order to achieve results. And it is about the willingness to hold up the mirror and be very self-aware about your strengths and limitations – and maintaining the capacity to grow and develop.

She counsels anyone considering stepping into a leadership position (or even those who are already leaders) to ask themselves the following questions:

  • Will I enjoy making other people successful?
  • Will I enjoy making myself available to help others vs doing my own work?
  • Would I be a great fit for providing direction and aligning my team to the organization?
  • What’s my experience with providing purpose? With inspiring and motivating others?
  • What have I seen work for growing others, and how can I support them in shaping their careers?
  • How easy or difficult is it for me to gain the trust of others?
  • Do I have a practice for staying emotionally balanced, especially under stressful circumstances and during change?

And in the book, Leading Early Childhood Organizations, Margie Carter outlines some of the behaviors she believes are most important for effective leaders to practice. Here’s the first one she mentions: “Offer genuine respect and trust.” She explains: “Teachers say they usually feel respected when someone really listens to them, trying to understand and be responsive…Some talk about ‘being trusted to succeed, even if they falter.”

Source: “What’s tough about leading people,” by Katrin Schwabe, advantageperformance.com, October 9, 2017

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