Are you ready to be a leader?

Today we’re going to talk about questions you should ask yourself before you apply for a position in management.

As a leader in corporate America, I’ve had the pleasure to mentor so many professionals who want to become a manager or a leader. And when I ask them what their motivations are, interestingly enough, most of them respond it’s because they want to help people.

They’ve done all the work. They’ve read the books, they’ve taken the feedback. They have engaged in the projects. They have done everything to show that they are ready for leadership.

But there are questions I always ask them to ask themselves to make sure that their motivations are in the right place, and that leadership is right for them.

1: Who am I?

What are your beliefs?

What are your values?

What is your personality type?

What are your strengths?

And what are your weaknesses?

This is all about having self-awareness. Self-awareness is the number one predictor of success and leadership. The better you know yourself, the more quickly you’re going to be to make the necessary adjustments so that you can be a successful leader.

2: Are you ready to take responsibility for others?

As leaders, we have to take full responsibility for the people that report to us, not just them, but also their performance. That means giving the team credit where credit is due. That also means taking responsibility when things don’t go well.

Are you ready not to be the one who’s in the spotlight and not to be the one who’s always getting the accolades?

3: Are you ready to lead people?

People are living, breathing creatures with emotions and feelings and goals and aspirations. And they’re quite unpredictable.

Are you ready to work alongside people from different ethnic backgrounds, different political affiliations, different views and ideas and values?

Can you step into other people’s shoes regardless of where they come from?

Can you step in their shoes and empathize with them and understand their situation?

And can you put aside your personal feelings and manage from a very neutral position?

4: Can you be a selfless leader?

Great leaders need to move boulders to help the team’s success. Are you ready to do that?

Are you ready to take the heat when things don’t go well, are you ready to give credit when things do go well?

Give credit to the team, but more importantly, are you ready to accept the fact that you might not be the smartest person on the team? And that’s okay.

Now at this point, you have learned that before stepping into a leadership role, before applying, you should examine your motivations to make sure that you’re doing it for the right reasons. If you step into a leadership role and you’re not doing it for the right reasons, it could be harmful to the team and harmful to your reputation, which is not something that we want for you.

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