Become a Leader in One Day
– Colle Davis
If you have not been a leader in some capacity and you are over 35, stop reading. It will never happen. Sorry, your time has passed. For future leaders, here are the tools, not the rules*, for being a leader. Using this set of tools makes you a leader right now, in real time.
- Define what you want for an outcome. Make it small and reasonable and reachable with your current resources. This selfish starting point gives you the strength, fortitude, and sneakiness to win. Knowing where you are going is the most important part of this exercise.
- Ask at least three other people to help you achieve part or all of the outcome. The chosen ones do not have to be smart, good looking or funny; they have to be willing to help you.
- Break the outcome/project into tasks and assign the tasks to your team. Notice the distinction; you are not to do any of the tasks yourself. Delegation is leadership. You do not care if the tasks get the team to the outcome. The goal is to learn to lead, not reach the goal.
- Reward the behavior you wish to encourage. Loyalty is built on this simple guideline. Each time one of your team completes a task, praise them in person, preferably in public. No task is complete until it is 100% done and signed off on by the person responsible for its completion.
- If the desired outcome or something close is achieved, reward the whole team, with a party and in a public way.
- Start a new project with your team.
But Colle, learning to become a leader cannot be that easy. Over the last 35 years of being an executive business coach, I have heard this comment often from clients. My response is, “Do the process exactly as laid out to see how it works, then make it harder if you want.” Those who follow the suggested exercises never choose to make it harder.
What is the next step? Take on larger projects, ask for larger projects, and tell your boss that your team is ready to up their game.
Now the hard part. Training and grooming team members who are potential leaders to take your place. Implementing this process is scary, counterintuitive and necessary for your success. Here is the logic of training your replacement. When you are tapped to move up, who do you have ready to take your place? Having a strong bench is the sign of a prepared leader.
Today, right now, before you finish this article, do you want to be a leader? If so, and you have not been one yet, congratulations, you have just read the formula for being a successful leader.
This moment is the turning point in your life. Seize the initiative and be a leader, or stay a worker and help support someone you like and trust to be a great leader.
For more suggestions, some polish or more information on leadership, contact me to set up a time for a free conversation. That conversation will change your life, what you do from that point is up to you. Colle Davis firstname.lastname@example.org or 8044643532
*There are no rules. There are accepted social norms and guidelines, but no rules. My forthcoming book, The Nurture and Prevention of a Palace Coup, covers this reality in great depth.