Discover more from And It's Up to You! by Antoine Martin
Leveraging leadership: time for a mindset shift!
I had two interesting discussions with top lawyers this week and got some interesting food for thought out of them. Guess what?
Leadership isn't a question of status. It's a survival skill you
need tohave to master.
It starts with having the right mindset and develops with awareness.
The imposter syndrome is (again) your best enemy.
Two key ideas: be aware of your skill, and keep sharpening it up! Need a push to do that? Sign up below 👇 to receive more coaching & mentoring tips!
I had two great conversations with lawyers this week, and they both gave me some interesting food for thought on leadership.
Here's the scene.
One was a client. The other was a friend.
Both play a significant role in their respective firm.
Both have to manage people on a routine basis.
Both put their fingers on a crucial topic: leadership isn't just a buzzword, it is a practical topic and a basic survival skill that a-bso-lu-tely needs to make part of your toolbox if you plan on getting people to work together at some point.
And, for some reason, both discussions lead to one conclusion: people don't realize it, but they have two jobs to do.
One is the get stuff done. The other is to lead the way. But the latter is the most complicated of both.
Management, authority, and leadership are three different things.
The complex thing with leadership is that people often struggle with defining what the thing is about.
The concept can be vague and difficult to apprehend, that’s for sure, but more importantly, they don't realize that building leadership implies going far beyond management and moving far away from exercising authority.
Usually, people see Steve Jobs and Barrack Obama as leaders.
This not only puts the bar insanely high, but it also leaves two choices: dare to try and take a huge risk, or drop the ball to stay safe.
For those who drop the ball, the story ends here. Too bad. However, for those who dare to try, there's also a second layer of complexity: how do you do it?
That question is a trap, though, because the “how” often turns into a matter of asserting status through authority - which really isn't what leadership is about.
Being a manager (or being the boss) gives you some authority (in theory) because your status and business card say you are in charge.
In reality, however, you can still have the leadership of an oyster and fail to get anyone on board.
Luckily, some refuse to play the authority card and focus on inspiring people, giving them leeway, and training them to give them the best chances of succeeding.
That takes time. Yes.
You get mistakes along the way. Yes.
The learning curve is big. Yes.
The process takes patience, nerves, and consistency. Yes, yes, and yes.
But the results you get in the end are worth the effort because people get to learn how to be a team and to take the lead along the way.
Think about it this way: would you rather be the big bossy boss of a team of ten? Or be the enabler of a team of ten leaders in their field?
I've got a clear opinion, how about you?
Leadership starts with mindset and thrives with awareness.
The point I just made shows one important thing: leadership starts with mindset, up there in our heads.
The way we think gives us a way to lead. And the way we act makes us either bullies, passive managers, or leaders. What's key here, therefore, is awareness.
Some know the power of leadership and deliberately use it to give people the springboard they need. In fact, the more they do it, the better they get at it.
Others do it without realizing it. They inspire, give people a seat at the table, and give them power without knowing it. Ask them if they see themselves as being leaders, and they'll probably tell you that they aren't.
Funny? Nope. That shows the presence of a major blind spot, and that means the opportunity to do more is massive. Imagine the influence this type of person could acquire if only they realized what superpower they have?
The imposter syndrome often gets in the way here, though. But as I've said before, this isn't such a bad thing.
It gives you an opportunity to reflect, think twice and take power over things you can influence. And it gives you an edge against those who are so confident that they forget to think twice before acting.
You have two jobs: getting sh** done, and leading the way
There's a simple reality here that most people never see until you put it right under their noses. You have two jobs!
The first is to get shit done, the other is to lead the way.
Not being aware of your leadership skills means you have to do both at the same time. However learning how to use them is a 'two birds, one stone’ kind of thinking.
Business owners have sh** to sell.
Fashion designers have sh** to sell.
Lawyers have sh** to sell.
Innovators have sh** to sell.
That’s the ‘Getting Sh** Done’ part of their job.
But hey, what future do they have if they focus on doing, doing, and doing instead of showing the way and leading? Can they grow and move ahead? Hardly, my friend.
Takeaway: it's time to pimp things up, people!
My five minutes are up - so let's wrap things up.
I had this discussion twice this week, but I also had it the week before, the week before that.
Why is that? Because anyone who needs to get people to work better together needs to pimp their leadership skills up, and most don't realize it.
Leadership isn't a buzzword, and it's not a bad word either. It's a survival and development skill you can't ignore. That's it.
Find your way around it! Come up with a definition you're comfortable with, and accept that your role is to pave the way so others can put on a leader’s cap too.
That's the only way, but again it’s up to you!
Until next time!