As discussed before I plan on sharing my thoughts about different aspects of leadership. I don’t claim to be an expert however I have learnt much along my journey so far and it may be of use to you. There may be better issues to discuss around leadership, however I want to share my thoughts on ‘Power’ as it probably doesn’t get discussed too deeply and it should – Baring in mind these posts may be being read by a younger audience I consider the topic of Power to be paramount.
Leadership can start at any age, for me, I believe leadership started early, in fact when I was around 10-11 years old I have recollections, vague memories of leadership. At this early stage my experiences were focused on a sporting environment, I was a keen footballer and was clearly going to be the next Gazza, unfortunately that idea didn’t progress to the depths I had hoped for. However I very much remember the thoughts flying around my head in terms of leading the team.
Leadership can come much later on for some people, in fact I have recently promoted a guy from within my company to become a leader, he’s 50+ and is doing a fantastic job, this guy is a leader of people, it’s clear to see, yet it’s taken him until this point in his career to actually get a job as a leader. In a later p
ost I will talk and discover a little more about the situations when you are a leader without the title – which is most of the time.
Whilst running my own business and undertaking the role as entrepreneur, in hindsight I was leading on a day to day basis, but as no one actually called me a leader or manager I was oblivious to the fact. The strange thing about it is that when I was given one of my first leadership/management tasks in the large business I was working for, the whole thing went to my head. This was a task I received as a trainee, so it wasn’t even a job or job title it was simply a task that would take a couple of months to complete.
Young and Full of Self Importance
So I’ve been given a task to complete and a team of people to help me complete it, four in total. At this point in my career and as a relatively new starter to the company, this was just the task I needed in order to prove myself to the management team that I could deliver when required. I had been chosen to lead the team, this was great news, I had lots of experience at leading teams before and was confident I could do it, however this was my first such task whilst working as an employee for a large business, I was 27 (ish) years old and again in hindsight, totally adolescent, immature and ill deserving of the opportunity….why?
The reason I was so ill deserving of thi
s new temporary position, was that I saw it as a stepping stone to enhance my own career. Writing this now makes me wretch from the gut, I feel like I would have been well suited to a spell on The Apprentice! Viewing this as a stepping stone for my own career was my first mistake, the second mistake was quick to follow and obvious as a consequence of my first mistake, this second bombshell was that I therefore saw the other guys in my team as the steps I needed to tread on to make myself known to our senior guys, AWFUL AWFUL person. If you are reading this, I am literally over the moon because it’s my opportunity to tell you that this behavior is pathetic and a poor way to drive to success it is totally counter productive – Don’t fall into the trap.
The day you use people for the betterment of yourself is the day you cease to become a leader and not what Young Leaderz should be about.
Luckily, I was wise enough to notice this behaviour in myself very early, indeed that evening on my drive home I realised how foolish I had been. It goes to show how easy it is to hold yourself in such high esteem and to be totally full of your own self importance. I can truly say that any success I have ever had in the workplace or in business is via people pulling together and delivering as a team
. Build a team around you and the possibilities will be endless, get you and your team into a position that you will walk over hot coals for each other, you will go to the extremes of normality for each other, not because you are promising anyone a bonus or because you are bullying them into doing it, but because you have simply asked. For great teams, asking for help is all it takes, the team will be there for each other, when you have this ethos within your team, you are on the road to success.
People people people, for any potential, soon to be, new to it or done it for ages leader, put people first and your chances of success will have just multiplied to infinity and beyond!
Don’t fall into my initial trap. Don’t let power get to your head, without your team you are nothing.
All the best,