Q. When do you ‘grow up’ as a leader?
A. You ‘grow up’ as a leader when you have no other choice!
One day recently, I was trying to recall when I became a “leader” in the eyes of the company and personally – in my own eyes.
* What was going on the day I crossed a huge chasm, achieved a major shift in how I was perceived and how I perceived myself?
* What actually happened to ‘grow’ me from middle manager to anointed leader?
* What were the determining factors that contributed to my leadership career success
Well it’s been awhile for me – but I remember the company, the role, the circumstances and the number of days, weeks and months that I didn’t eat or sleep. So I started asking friends, former clients and current clients – when did they jump from manager to leader?
I heard a lot of stories – happy stories, triumphant stories, sad stories, unbelievable feats of strength stories and funny stories.
As they told me their leadership story, I began to see similar themes emerge around two indicators: the amount and type of personal preparedness
they experienced (or the lack thereof) and the organization’s environment (e.g., pressures, marketplace and requirements). The individuals related their first leadership experiences in terms of stepping into a role where their personal readiness was tested and often forged by organizational pressures.
If you are an aspiring leader – have you thought about when do you ‘grow up’ as a leader? If you are a seasoned leader, what’s your leadership success story and what’s the source of your leadership career success?
Questions for you to consider:
- Can you pinpoint the day, time and circumstance when you leaped into a leadership role?
- What do you need to do to prepare for a move to the next level in your career?
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