On some level we are all leaders.
There comes a time, however, when we are placed in a leadership position. We are now a leader that is leading.
If we are leading, we need to think differently.
This is not something that naturally starts when we are put in a position to lead. It is something that we need to be aware of, and then learn to do. It is also something that takes time.
I have met many people over the years who are in positions of leadership and it is obvious that they do not think like a leader. Changing your mindset does not come naturally.
Here are some things that you need to be aware of:
1. It can be more difficult to think clearly when we are leading.
The natural thought process would be that if I am put into a position to lead, then thinking would be easier. This is not true.
Have you ever watched a leader do something really stupid, and you ask yourself: “How can they do that? Surely they can see what is going on.”
You need to be aware that it can be more difficult to think clearly when you are a leader.
Why? Because responsibility clouds our thinking!
The more the responsibility, the more difficult it can be to think clearly.
I told my 18-year-old grandson recently that he needs to enjoy this time in his life because he is able to think more clearly, and see things more clearly, than he will do in his entire life, because he has no responsibilities.
2. Most of us have a “Responsibility limit”
You might have heard of The Peter Principle by Laurence Peter. The principle is that we get promoted beyond our level of competence.
I think that this is more than a competence issue. I think it is an inability to think when the responsibility becomes too great. It can also play out when someone is given a leadership position and the company grows. The more it grows, the more responsibility the leaders carry, and the more muddled their thinking becomes.
More on this next time.