Here’s a warning I want to give to those who are currently not in a senior leadership position but think they may want to be. I’m not trying to be cruel here. I am actually trying to be helpful.
Don’t Agree to Be the Senior Leader – Unless:
You are ready to lead alone at times – or at least feel like you are.
You aren’t striving for popularity, knowing every decision you make is unpopular to someone.
You can make hard decisions, even the ones involving people or conflict.
You attempt to see all sides of an issue.
You can admit when you are wrong.
You will not run from every conflict but courageously lead to what is best for the organization.
You are comfortable with change, and it energizes you to “think outside the box.”
You are okay when others receive credit – even for something you initiated.
You can give others a voice, delegate leadership and truly empower others, believing things are better when other people help make decisions.
You won’t let criticism derail you for long, but stay committed to the task before you.
You can envision a better reality beyond today and help others join you by casting an engaging vision.
You genuinely love and value people and their contributions and are willing to serve more than you ever get to “lead.”
Senior leaders – share yours.
(Granted, there are certainly senior leaders who may have “success” without all of these. I’m talking from experience – a little trial and error – and some of my own times of attempting to follow a senior leader. These are things I have seen work to attract, retain, and see others flourish.