So it’s 2016, and you’re hoping to make this year’s resolution stick. You know the one where you take better care of your body, or the one where you promise to make more time for your family. Here’s the one that’s often overlooked- be a better leader. Maybe this is a part of your goals simply because it’s a part of your role. You’re a team leader, a manager, a volunteer leader at your church or some other organization. Your commitment to be a better leader has everything to do with other’s expectation of you. But what if you don’t own a single title that demands respect? What if your title went away? Would you lead anyway?
When I was in high school I used to stare at a quote in my 10th grade English class daily. It stated:
I am not who I think I am
I am not what you think I am
I am what I think you think I am
Maybe the same Anonymous who has taken credit for many internet hijinks wrote that quote just to terrorize me. Even back then I was plagued by the pressure of living up to the expectations of others. My mother used to say, “people will follow you, so you better lead wisely.” I wanted to retort, “I’m only 15!” My coaches seemed to push me harder than others, and my teachers taunted me with constant reminders that I had “potential.” I cannot help but think that I wanted the attention of being called a leader, team captain, group leader, shift manager, but I didn’t really want the responsibility. So I wore the badge, took the honor, but balked at taking the responsibility when things didn’t go right. Yes, many years later this is still a fight. Maybe you can relate.
The type of people that amaze me most are the ones that don’t have a prominent title of manager or boss, they just operate like one. These are the people that see a need and run to fill it before someone sends off the distress signal. These types of leaders send short shout outs of encouragement to their coworkers and colleagues, not just their underlings or employees. These types of leaders sometimes possess the title, but seek to serve instead of being served. These types of leaders don’t concern themselves with manipulating the attitudes of others in order to get their approval. These leaders are UNCOMMEN, because they are driven by something greater than themselves. Take a look in the mirror and say this with me, “Be this type of leader in 2016.”
This week’s blog post written by UNCOMMEN head coach, Dee Lanier.