Why You Are Not A Leader
Here is a thought. Out of every twenty people nineteen will follow and one will be a leader of sort and to be numero uno the odds are 1000 to 1. We might all want to be but for every General there are minimum of 25,000 troops and 300 officers in a division. So how does one get to the summit? While there is doubt that you have to be good at what you do and then better than good don’t fall for the line that luck has a lot to do with it. Sure, you get some breaks but, by and large, if you don’t deliver you are going to be prematurely knocked off that pedestal. The truth is that getting to the top is a lot easier than staying there.
So, what is the road map, the route to the top and why do only so few make it? So often we watch others climbing past us and we find it so easy to blame other circumstances without ever recognizing the possibility that we might be the biggest brake on ourselves.
The energy exhausted in moaning and groaning and could be better channeled into positive growth but we do not do it. Instead we like to con ourselves that the other party got ahead by underhand means, by using nepotism and influence, is corrupt or simply lucky. While these elements may be short cuts in themselves and do kick a person up the ladder the rungs they stand on are the weak ones and can break any time. The ones who stand on strong rungs are the ones who work a plan.
The word ‘vision’ is often misused and put out of context. But vision is integral to doing well because if you cannot think of the next ‘x’ number of steps and also consider other options in case the first plan fails then you will be leading yourself into the proverbial rut. Who is to blame? You, ‘for getting through the day, getting through the week, getting through rather than building a career’.
The other area where we lose out in the long run is by doing a job we don’t like because we just needed the job so we took it and now it has been five years and there are no choices, we are stuck with it. If you did not fit into the job from Day One how can you get into the front line, there is too much resentment in you to give your best, so you will settle for survival. If you are still young enough or gutsy enough get off this but and take the one going the way you want to go. It is one life; don’t travel in the wrong direction.
The third aspect that impacts on one’s career negatively is negativity. Many of us spend our lives living in the shadows, afraid to take a chance and making a pact with ourselves that we will stay mediocre. Consequently, that is all we do, keeping our noses above the water but never going into the deep end. So, we never inspire, lead, give others a benchmark or show the way, we are happy being anonymous. The cruel fact is that anonymous people do not become leaders.
Four and this is vital. You must bat for your team, take responsibility, create an atmosphere where they can trust you and believe you and know that you care for their welfare. You also must be fair, and as they say in the army shoot straighter than your staff. If they are actually better than you, why would they want you to lead them?
Finally, one line common sense. Maybe you don’t want to be a leader, maybe you are happier being one of the 999…………………. Some folks are. ‘Nothing to be ashamed of, just don’t complain, that is all.