There is a lot of great content delivered about leadership from a whole range of different sources. At the same time there is a huge difference between theory and practice of leading. So in this blog post I wanted to share some of the lessons learned the hard way from being a leader.
Lesson 1: Don’t Expect Others To Show Leadership Just Because They Are At A Senior Level
Before I became a leader I honestly felt that people at the top would be bold, face up to reality and make the big calls when they had to. In reality what I often saw was people just operating within their comfort zone and not really pushing the boundaries.
Lesson 2: People Will Go To Extreme Lengths To Maintain The Status Quo
As a Finance Director faced with serious issues such as trying to keep the organisation supplied when it was taking us several months to pay suppliers, I thought people would see the seriousness of the situation and take action. Again this only really became urgent to people when there was a risk of their salary not being paid.
Lesson 3: You Get Very Little Time To Prove Yourself
There is an expectation that you will deliver instant results when in truth we all know that progress takes time.
Lesson 4: Never Underestimate The Importance Of A Great Deputy
If there is one post you need to fill and fill quickly it’s the number two role to you. They will make a huge difference to your effectiveness.
Lesson 5: Know When To Step In And Step Back
It is easy if you are the type of person who is driven by achieving to step in too quickly. Work on getting the balance right.
Lesson 6: It Is Never Too Early To Get A Mentor
The reality is you need someone who you can speak with openly and confidentially. Get this in place before you even step into a leadership role. It could be the best decision you could ever make.
I wonder what else you would add to the list based on your own experiences.
Duncan Brodie helps professional people to become highly effective leaders. He invites you to sign up for his free audio e-course
Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 6,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.