5 Things about Leadership that you wish you had known- before you became one

5 Things about Leadership that you wish you had known- before you became one
Author Name: Shivakumar
Date: Apr 20 2020
Category: Leadership
Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement Jim Horning

There is no denying it. Leadership is tough business. You are like the ant scurrying across the ant hill while a mean kid is trying to scorch you with a lens. Most leaders are thrust into the spotlight with no preparation, much less any practice and have to start running just to keep from falling on their faces. After the initial exultation fades, reality sets in. Here are 5 things that you wish you had known about being a leader.

#1 Everything is your fault

The first rule of leadership. It does not matter whether the mistake was made by the intern or by your most experienced team member. As far as Management is concerned, it is your fault. You have to take responsibility for mistakes that were made by your team and the consequences thereof. The worst thing you can do is to point out that you were not to be blamed and that the mistake was made by someone in your team. The anonymity of being one of the team members is now, not an option for you.

The Intelligent Leader ensures that important matters are always discussed, reviewed and double checked for accuracy before going ahead with the implementation.

#2 The buck stops with you

No more pushing decisions upstairs. You have to make the choices and take the decisions that will put events into motion, spend the company's money and decide its fate. There are no air bags and you must be prepared for hard landings even with the best of planning. You cannot expect anyone to help you make those decisions, even your superiors. After all, that is why you were made the leader.

The Intelligent Leader understands the ramifications of every action he takes and has a clear expectation of the outcomes and prepares for following through with the decision.

#3 There is no learning on the job

By definition, as a leader, you are expected to know your job and the jobs of the people under you better than anyone else. There are precious little opportunities or avenues to learn from and besides, there is just no time. Leadership is a 24/7 gig and there is no downtime for knowledge updating.

The Intelligent Leader learns to tap into reference reservoirs of other successful leaders who have faced similar challenges and have emerged victorious. The Intelligent Leader also stays open to flow of information from all sources and situations.

#4 Its lonely at the top

There are going to be times when you wish you could confide in a colleague, or sound out your team members, but you may have to keep your own counsel. As a Leader, there are very few outlets to express your feelings and even lesser opportunities to get feedback on your progress.

The Intelligent Leader builds an ecosystem of stakeholder support groups and keeps lines of communication open across the organization to better absorb feedback and fine tune his way of working.

#5 You are always under the scanner

This is not the place you want to be if you love anonymity. As a Leader, you are constantly being assessed, judged, looked up to and criticized at the same time. Every action or decision is magnified and enlarged in the overall perspective of the organization and the team you lead.

The Intelligent Leader uses the scrutiny to his advantage by building and reinforcing his vision through his words and action. He leverages his high visibility to sell his vision to both his team members as well as the Management.

Sure, you now know that Leadership comes at a price but as an Intelligent Leader, you realize that these are also areas of opportunity to build a loyal following, transmit your vision both upwards and downwards, communicate your thoughts and get a buy-in for your actions. Used properly, the advantages of being a leader far outweigh the negatives.

am an Intelligent Leadership Executive Coach and I work with C level and other senior Executives, taking them through a transformative journey that unlocks their full potential and leads them to becoming the best leaders they can be.

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