Okay, it happened again! The truth of leadership principles smacked me right in the skull…WHACK! I was challenged, once again, to begin understanding my role as a leader. While I have been in leadership for over 12-years now, I have new opportunities to learn more about leadership every day.
ALL BY YOURSELF
Sometimes it can seem so easy to sit back and do things yourself, because you do not want to burden those who are volunteering, but as my team reminded me tonight, it is better to take charge and utilize their abilities, rather than waste their time. They did not say those exact words, but what they did communicate was their desire for more structure. From this I gain: teams like to be challenged and have a structure in place, which drives them.
Fear can creep into leadership: (1) The fear of over-pressuring those who serve, and (2) the fear of damaging friendships. I find it easy not wanting to over-burden those who follow. Imagine you have a team of people who are diligent workers. They commit in everything they do, so you decide you do not want to overdo it, and ask too much. In all, you do not want to appear demanding, because you do not want to lose those team members. Does this type of mentality even make sense? No, of course not! Leaders must utilize the full potential of their team to fulfill the mission of the organization. Once again, my leadership fear was a desire to not over-burden those who take their time to serve, nor to appear demanding. The term authority was brought up by team members. It became overtly present in the conversation that, (1) while I know the direction I am desiring to take our organization, I have forgotten to communicate it directly in the way I lead, and (2) I must regain authority, which has been diminished by my desire to care for those with whom I serve.
Having concern for your team is important. There must be a balance of having sympathy and knowing team members are welcoming the demands of their position. Leadership must be able to communicate their needs to team members in order to build the organization. Do not allow concern to diminish your leadership input. Your team may be more concerned about authority vs. your appearing too demanding.