I’ve never been more embarrassed then the first time I asked for a raise.
I walked into that meeting 100% confident that my skills, contributions, hard work and dedication were worth more money. And I left that room with a lot more shame and humility.
Not only did I get an emphatic “NO”, but they burst the huge bubble I had been living in about my own skills as a leader. At that the time, I felt so competent as a leader it had never occurred to me that anyone else would think otherwise. After all, I was passionate about the work, took initiative, and I was always busy.
My bosses made it clear that I was neglecting my responsibilities as a manager and leader, because I spent too much of my time trying to control everyone and doing their work because I didn’t believe in them. This was a huge shot to my ego and a wake-up call about my leadership. Turns out that most of my team didn’t really like me, and felt micromanaged to the point that they were unable to do their jobs.
Sometimes when we get caught up in having things “done right” or “our way”, we fail to see the big picture. Over the years, I’ve learned some very painful, yet powerful lessons about leadership. This was just the first.
It took a few more years, and a few more lessons for me to figure out that leadership isn’t about proving how competent I am, but how competent my team is. And it started when I figured out exactly what kind of leader I wanted to be.
Did I want to be someone who people feared, or someone people trusted?
I decided I wanted to be the type of leader people trusted. One that people followed voluntarily. Most importantly, I wanted to be a leader who created opportunities for people to grow and shine. I was going to have to make a lot of changes and the first step was to get clarity on how I wanted to approach leadership.
Today, my approach to leadership is built on the belief that I want those who follow me to be better for having done so. That is my personal leadership philosophy, my leadership identity.
What is yours?
You don’t have one? Don’t feel bad. Most leaders, even seasoned professionals don’t have a clear leadership identity.
That is why this new series will help you get ahead. Because I share the most important leadership lessons I’ve learned and you can learn them now while you are young and figuring it out all. You don’t have to struggle with the uncertainty and insecurity I had, or the failed relationships, back stabbing, lack of recognition or misrepresentation I experienced as a young leader.
Starting today you can take the first step developing a clear leadership identity and understanding the values and strengths that influence your leadership. Identifying your own approach to leadership will help you decide on the impact you want to have as a leader, and understand where you need to grow to be able to realize it.
In the first video of this leadership series, I’ll share:
- What a Personal Leadership Philosophy is and why you want one.
- The 3 simple questions to help you identify your approach to leadership.
- How to apply your Personal Leadership Philosophy in your work every day.
DOWNLOAD this worksheet to help you go through each step to craft your own Leadership Identity.
Part 1 Watch Here:
Remember this is just the first step. Be sure to catch Part 2 to learn more about inspiring others to follow you.