Peer Power Blog
This blog is about the power of peers in the IT space. It is designed as a place to share things I have learned the past 24+ years running a business as well as meeting the growing demands of business owners we experience leading the Heartland Tech Groups - a peer group network for IT business owners.
Subscribe to this blog
Ways to Tell You Are Not a Leader
I read a blog by one of my favorite leadership authors, Tony Morgan, around how you can tell if you are truly a leader or not. There are some very clear signs. The reality is that there are several types of people who think they are leaders:
- Some are genuine leaders
- Some are in leadership positions, but they aren’t really leaders
- Some aren’t in a leadership positions but think they should be.
From my experience, there really are very few genuine leaders. And while being a leader requires some gifting and natural ability, it also requires a commitment to learn and grow that skill. It doesn’t happen by osmosis. Tony Morgan shared 10 signs that indicate you’re not really a leader. So the headings are his, and the commentary mine.
10 Easy Ways to Know You’re Not a Leader
1. You’re waiting on a bigger staff and more money to accomplish your vision.
The reality is that leaders don’t wait. They attack their vision leveraging the resources available. They don’t depend on the future.
2. You think you need to be in charge to have influence.
Real leaders influence whether they stand in front of the room or not. They utilize relationships and communication to help lead, even when they are part of the follower pack.
3. You’re content.
Contentment is not a trait most leaders exhibit. They are constantly seeking the next way to make a difference.
4. You tend to foster division instead of generating a helpful dialogue.
Leaders may not always agree with the course being taken, but they know that a house divided cannot stand. They continually drive toward unity because they know a team united has far more power than one divided. They support the group direction putting their own wishes on the back burner.
5. You think you need to say something to be heard.
Often leaders exercise the most influence by what they don’t say or don’t do. You don’t have to be the loudest and most vocal person in the room. It is meaningful and thoughtful words that cause people to respond and take action.
6. You find it easier to blame others for your circumstances than to take responsibility for solutions.
Leaders own the outcome, even when they may not be the one directly responsible for creating it. Blame never helps anything, and when we point a finger we have to remember that most of them point at us. Leaders are willing to take the blame and carry the responsibility for what happens.
7. It’s been some time since you said, “I messed up.”
One of the most powerful things a leader can do is be transparent with their failings and say ‘I’m sorry’ when they make a mistake. Everyone knows you are not perfect so it won’t be news to them. What will be news, and will gain you fans for life, is admitting it and asking those around you to help pick up the pieces and move forward.
8. You’re driven by the task instead of the relationships and the vision.
Tasks are essential to getting things done, but what we must never lose sight of is the vision we are pursuing and the people that are part of that journey. Sometimes leaders sacrifice people and burn them out on doing tasks leaving a path littered with people that did their part and were left behind. That is not how you create a sustainable and long term success.
9. Your dreams are so small, people think they can be achieved.
If it was easy, anyone could do it. We need to dream big and chase things beyond what seems achievable. It is the big vision that draws people in and gets them activated to join the journey. That means we must clearly (and repeatedly) communicate that vision and those dreams. Communicating vision is often an achilles heal to leaders.
10. No one is following you.
That is the first litmus test of leadership. You look behind and see if anyone is following. If not, you aren’t a leader. And if they aren’t following willingly, you are a dictator.
11. You are not creating more leaders. (my add)
The second litmus test of leadership is that a true leader is always investing in those who will step up and become the next leaders. There is always a focus on the future and who will lead next.
Are you a leader? Are you doing the things that create success today, and for the future. Leadership is hard work. It takes intentional effort. It will not just happen. If you aren’t a leader today, it is not too late. It requires you to make a decision and choose to become a leader. HTG is committed to helping grow your skillset so you can lead effectively at work, at home, and everywhere else you spend your time!