The Leadership Lesson Most People Miss

Sep 30, 2019

Businessman shaking hands with a colleague in the officeYes, including most managers.

Which means that once you get this, you'll not only be smarter than most managers, you'll be smarter than you were five minutes ago—more confident, more in control

The lesson is simple

Make leadership a necessity, not just a nicety. At every level. Leadership not as a position but as a mindset.

I know very few organizations who do this. Instead most managers settle for one of two extremes: micromanagement or total passivity. 

(I had a boss who leaned toward that second extreme. One of my co-workers would call me frequently to vent about this. These rants would always include the same impassioned plea: "Lead, dammit!")

Expletives aside, here's what happens when you micromanage or under-manage: You get friction, frustration, and lack of engagement. At best, your lowest performers are happy as clams, because they know not much is expected. Your highest performers? They disengage.

I have seen this. And I can tell you it doesn't have to be that way. 

What happens when you make a leadership mindset a necessity

  • You start attracting higher-caliber candidates
  • You find out which of your staff can self-manage (hint: your high performers prefer it this way) 
  • You learn to stop solving other people's problems and fighting other people's battles
  • You spend less time putting out fires and more time doing great work
  • You gain confidence; you also get more enjoyment out of coming to work
  • You free your staff to do their best work, since you're neither micromanaging nor letting poor performance slide
  • Managing becomes more satisfying and less stressful
  • You gain respect, including self-respect

But what if you're an individual contributor?

This is where discernment comes in. Will you lead by example to change your company cultureor move to a culture where leadership and accountability are already in place? 

It's your call. It's your life. But I can tell you this from experience: If you can't change the company culture, leave gracefully before it changes you

Free Checklist: 50 Traits of Exceptional Leaders

I compiled this checklist to inspire you—regardless of your rank—to reap the rewards of a leadership mindset: namely, standing taller, sleeping better, improved teamwork, better decisions, and a difference you can be proud of when you look in the mirror.

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About the Author
9205_SD HEADSHOTS_FORSOCIALMEDIAMost managers know office drama is draining morale, yet they either don't know how to solve it, don't have time, or don't know where to start. Gina DeLapa gives managers a framework to overcome office drama, inspire the team's best, and turn company morale into a competitive advantage. Interested? Click here to schedule a no-obligation call. 

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