Saturday, December 5, 2020

BUTTERFLIES: Leaders and Leadership

What is your definition of a leader? What qualities do you need to see in a leader to feel you can be a productive follower? Leaders and and the topic of leadership has been a recurrent topic in my timeline this week. So we are going to address these two areas throughout the blog. For the purpose of this blog we are going to discuss the difference between being a leader and being in a leadership role. Merriam-Webster's dictionary defines a leader as "a powerful person who controls or influences what other people do. A person who leads a group, organization, country and etc". I believe sometimes the terms are used interchangeably. This is not correct! Merriam-Webster's dictionary defines leadership "as the office or position of a leader, the capacity to lead, and the act or instance of leading". Now that we have the definition correct, lets dive deeper into the two areas. 

I want to start with the word leadership. The reason I am starting with this word first is, it is  misinterpreted the most. Being in a leadership role does not make you a leader. But sometimes a leadership platform is needed in order for a leader to be productive and lead. Many times people are placed in a leadership role before they are ready to be a leader. They are not provided the tools to 
Online Business Concept
develop and maintain leadership qualities. If leadership qualities can not be maintained and developed, you can not continue to be an effective leader. 

Earlier in my healthcare career I found myself in this position. I was placed in a leadership role without resources. To make matter worse, I was working in an area I concentrated on in undergraduate school. For me, the experience and tools I required were not there, and I felt locked in the position. I quickly realized this position was not for me, and changed my path. Sometimes leadership growth occurs in knowing what is not the correct leadership position for you. One thing to remember, the position was not a good fit for me, but may be a perfect fit for another leader.

The other side of the coin to remember, if everyone was built to be a leader, then there would not be anyone to follow. During my early nursing career, it was still my time to be a follower. The experience I had early on in my healthcare career made me realize everyone has a role to play in the leader-follower dynamic. But that is for another blog😉! But remember followers can be groomed to be in a leadership role. Here are 5 ways to know you may be ready for a leadership role. They are: 
  1. You like helping your coworkers problem-solve.
  2. You see the potential in others, and get satisfaction in seeing them flourish.
  3. You enjoy process improvement and feel you have ways to save the company time and money. 
  4. Many people assume you are in a leadership role due to your knowledge base and the instinct to share what you know with others. 
  5. You are willing to learn while you are in a leadership role. Reflect on your own actions and be willing to be an example of the qualities you are trying to enforce. 
The leadership role can be very appealing to others who are not currently in the position. The time and energy that it takes to be effective in this area is never projected by a good leader. But there are a few signs you may not be ready for a leadership role. I will like to state, not being ready for a leadership role does not mean you will never be a leader or in a leadership position in the future. Experience, time, and continuous education needs to be present for a leader to continue to share with their followers. Here are some signs that you may not be ready to lead. They are as follows: 
  1. You want the role solely for monetary reasons. 
  2. You want the job because there is an illusion your work load will be easier. 
  3. You have a hard time speaking up on something that would benefit the company. 
  4. You are not willing to open up and be trusting with employees on your team. 
  5. You care more about the job title, private office, or other perks more than the job itself. 
Now, we know some of the ideas that mean you are not ready for a leadership position. Again, this does not mean you will not be ready to be a leader in the future. So, what are qualities of a good leader? Weather your leader is in church or in The White House, there are certain qualities they posses which makes you feel they are GREAT at what they do. These qualities allow them to be effective in their post and with their followers: 5 qualities of a GREAT leader are:
  1. Great communication skills
  2. The ability to delegate task
  3. Empathy
  4. Self-Care
  5. Gratitude
Remember, there is not one way or style to lead. The leadership style which works for one leader, may not particularly work for another. How you decide to lead depends on your surroundings, and your followers. Also, this thought process can apply to a leader's qualities. As you grow and change, on thing to remember is you take the best of other leaders and make it your own. The rest is history! 

As you may realize these list are not all-inclusive. The lists are highlights of qualities and  characteristics GREAT leaders needs to possess in order to lead.What is your definition of a leader? What qualities do you need leadership to possess for you to be a productive follower? Please subscribe via e-mail on the right, and leave a comment in the comment section below (Now, an anonymous comment option available for your privacy!). As always, thanks for reading and subscribing😊!*

No comments: