Thanks to the evolution of social media, the lives of the rich (and famous) are out there for all to see. Many great leaders, who were once out of sight, are now openly sharing their stories of wealth and success. Inspiring more and more people to pursue leadership positions themselves.
There are two main issues I see with this. First, leadership is often glorified. With the media not giving the full picture of what leadership can really entail. Second, it implies that anyone can be a great leader. And while I would never want to limit anyone, many people will require years of experience, personal development and training before they can thrive in a leadership role. It’s not something we can all do NOW. And with the world being driven by instant gratification, many people find this difficult to accept.
Most of the world’s best leaders demonstrate a variety of common traits. If you don’t possess the majority of these, there’s a strong possibility you’re not ready for a leadership position. Here are 10 signs leadership is not right for you at this time.
1) You’re chasing the glory, not the responsibility
If the first images that come into your mind are of power, authority, fame, money, fast cars, Gucci handbags, minions at your beck-and-call or world-domination, then you are definitely not ready for leadership.
Leadership is not about power. It’s about responsibility. If you want all the glory but none of the accountability, leadership is not for you. A company’s performance will only ever be as good as the leader’s performance, the quality of the employees and the strength of their loyalty. Nobody wants to work for a leader who is more concerned with their own success and self-acclaim than his or her employees’ development. If you want to be a great leader, make sure you have no delusions of grandeur first.
2) You’re risk averse
The best leaders know that to improve, grow or create change, chances are there will be a significant amount of risk involved. Failure is always a possibility. However, good leaders are good at calculating risk and overcoming their fear of failure – recognising there is no such thing as failure, only feedback. If you don’t like taking risks, this is something you will need to become more comfortable with if you want to succeed in a leadership role.
3) You find it hard to make a decision
If you spend hours looking at a menu and get stressed out trying to choose what to have for lunch, imagine trying to make a decision that will determine the future of an entire organisation – and the people in it. If even just the thought of that makes you feel sick, chances are you might struggle in a leadership position right now.
4) You don’t have a long term vision
Good leaders are able to create long-term visions and strategies. They see the bigger picture and don’t get stuck in the small details of the here and now. If you prefer to live life day-by-day without any real goals or vision, tackling the problems of the present moment, leadership might not be a natural step for you.
5) You don’t like change
The most famous leaders in the world are often famous because they drove a change that made an impact. They did something differently and produced a great result. If you get stressed when things change or plans go off track. Or you prefer to re-establish order rather than initiate change – leadership might not be right for you at this time. Particularly in today’s day and age when companies and products are constantly having to innovate to remain competitive.
6) You’re arrogant
The world’s best and most highly admired leaders all have one thing in common. They are super humble. They appreciate that all human beings are equal and a fancy title does not make one person better than another. They treat everyone with respect, and are willing to help anywhere they can. Good leaders have the strength to admit when they have made a mistake and are happy to acknowledge when someone has a better idea. They don’t take all the credit, if any, and instead recognise and celebrate the hard work and success of others. To be a leader requires followers. Without followers, you will fail in a leadership role.
7) You lack self-belief
The core trait of any successful leader is self-belief. They know who they are, what they stand for and that they can achieve anything they put their mind to. They’re confident and self-assured, knowing that no matter the outcome, they will still be stand strong. If you’re lacking self-confidence, these articles will help:
8) You have low emotional intelligence
Being aware of and able to manage your emotions, and recognise emotions in others, is a key quality of any good leader. Not only is high emotional intelligence key in motivating and influencing others, it is also crucial for successful conflict management and communication. People will be inspired by someone who can manage their emotions – not someone who is all over the place. How do you know if you have low emotional intelligence? Read my article How High is Your Emotional Intelligence?
9) You’re not inspired
Great leaders know how to inspire others – because they themselves are inspired. They have a dream and they know how to achieve it. They are passionate about what they do and believe in themselves. Their clear vision, passion, drive, hunger and confidence is what inspires others. If you have any doubts in what you are trying to achieve, or are lacking motivation in any way, this will come through in everything you do. People will only follow an inspirational leader – meaning an inspired leader.
10) You want to have control – always
Bad leaders dictate. Great leaders empower others to take control of their lives and their careers. They delegate easily and are good at relinquishing control – knowing that this will help others to learn and grow faster, maximizing their potential. If you want to be a leader, but also like to have full control, hiring a coach can help you become more willing to let go of that tight grip.
So, does this mean you’re not destined to be a great leader? Not at all. All this article is seeking to achieve is to bring a level of awareness. Awareness of how you might be holding yourself back from being the leader you want to be. The great news is, with time, persistence and patience, most of the traits above can be developed with the help of a coach or mentor. Even reading some books on leadership development can help. So if you really have your heart set on being a leader, look at where you need to start making improvements, and start making them today.
What experiences have you had of good and bad leadership? What advice can you offer to others on how to avoid being a bad leader? Please leave your comments below!
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For further information about how to develop your leadership skills, please visit www.zetayarwood.com or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Author
Zeta Yarwood is recognised as a leading Career Coach and NLP Life Coach in Dubai, helping individuals across the world to achieve success in all areas of their lives. With a degree in Psychology and over 10 years’ experience in coaching, management and recruitment – working for multinational companies and award-winning recruitment firms – Zeta is an expert in unlocking human potential. Passionate about helping people discover their strengths, talents and motivation, Zeta lives to inspire others to dream big and create the life and career they really want.