Are you committed to being a leader?
You have the title. You have the area of responsibility. You’re in a seat that allows you to make key decisions for the larger picture.
Moreover, others have deemed that you have both the competencies and character to lead well.
But what about your commitment?
Without commitment in three key areas, abilities are not enough.
In my engagement with leaders, I will work with them to assess their leadership competencies, their character, and their commitment. Most often, they can readily articulate their strengths – and many are keenly self-aware of their vulnerabilities. When we discuss character, this is often a more reflective time in our conversation, for this is not a question that surfaces as much.
Then, I approach their commitment. Most everyone quickly affirms they are committed, and some may even feel softly affronted that I’ve even asked the question. “If I weren’t committed, I wouldn’t be here,” quipped one. “They don’t pay me enough, but I still sit in this chair!”
It’s at this point that I invite them to reflect on three areas of commitment and to explore where they might need next to grow.
Aspire to a vision. How old is your vision? Is it still relevant? And does it still inspire you to action? If not, it’s certain that your people are not inspired, either. Take the time to revisit this in light of where you and your company are today. Then, review your direction and strategies to ensure they support it best.
Get involved and find solutions. Dive into the many issues that face you as leader, your business, and your industry. Use the appropriate brain trust to turn old ideas upside down and to come up with creative solutions to problems. See the gold in continued growth for yourself. Admit and examine those areas within the company that require refinement or redirecting. Recognize the merits of collaboration as you examine industry challenges and decide to become part of the thought leadership that provides the answers.
Be willing to make sacrifices in pursuit of the vision. If you have been in leadership many years, or your business has been long established, there may be pockets of complacency that impede your ability to move ahead. These may not be readily apparent, so as you share the vision anew, make sure that this is shared at all levels of your organization. Ask each area of responsibility, then, to perform a litmus test by examining systems, processes, and protocols to see if these best support the vision and its direction. Then, define the behaviors and attitudes you want to see that reflect company values. What needs to shift or change? What needs to go, or be adopted? Remaining “in place” with what has always worked is a sure sign that you are not staying current – and by default, you could be on the way out.
In essence, commitment in these three areas requires that you roll up your sleeves and do the hard work required to lead well. I challenge you to use this framework as you consider the effectiveness of your own leadership, and that of your executive team.
DO OTHERS REALLY TRUST YOU?
Learn the two vital parts to trust and how they can help you become a more highly effective leader.
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Patti Cotton helps executives optimize their effectiveness in leading self, others, and the enterprise. Her areas of focus include confidence, leadership style, executive presence, effective communication, succession planning, and masterful execution. With over 25 years of leadership experience, both stateside and abroad, Patti works with individuals, teams, and organizations across industries, providing executive consulting, leadership development, succession planning, change management, and conflict resolution. She is also an experienced Fortune 500 speaker. For more information on how Patti Cotton can help you and your organization, click here.