Leadership: When it’s go time. Are you up for it?

Friday December 6, 2019                 By: Merna Fawzy

superwomenSo, you want to be in a place of authority? You want to have a team working for you, giving you their best, day in and day out? You want all the success and all the recognition? Sounds great doesn’t it. Well, are you willing to pay the price for being in that place?

You work hard to become a leader; Work hard to start your own business; Have an office, maybe; Gather up enthusiastic people to form a team. It is hard work and it pays off when you see your work and effort in progress. But, what makes those enthusiastic people keep doing what they are doing? What makes them want to stay in their jobs? What makes them want to do more for you?

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The answer here is YOU. As much as it might be surprising to many, it is the truth. It is not the fancy office. It is not the salary. It is not the chocolate and fun, nor it is the bean-bags. It is you; the manager, the leader, and this is the price you pay in return for being in place of authority.

To better explain; managing a team is one thing, and leading a team is another. Imagine you are ‘managing’ a team. You give your team members tasks. You expect them to perform, efficiently. Any failure subjects the employee or team members to punishment, or even worse, a risk of losing their jobs.

You see, the focus here is on getting the most out of every person working, without giving them emotional support or care for who they are as people; like a wet towel you want to squeeze just to get every drop of water out of.

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But people are not towels, and this is never a good way to drive people to perform. Yes, they will work. They will do their best not to fail at a task or mess something up. They will be at their desks on time and they will respect the rules. However, they will never raise up a hand to say “I don’t know how to do this”, out of fear of being punished. They will not love their jobs because they don’t feel in any way emotionally attached or rewarded. They will never give their best, but only what’s good enough to help float the boat, because they just want that paycheck. They will never be loyal as there is nothing and no one to be loyal to. In fact, leaving the job once a better offer is available will be a decision taken without skipping a beat. Lastly, people will feel insecure, they don’t feel like a part of a team. They’re just means to an end, employees needed to fill up vacancies and that is how they perform at their jobs, day in and day out.

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Let’s change the scenario. Substitute the manager in the previous case with a leader. A leader understands the cost of being in authority; of becoming the person who cares for the people who do the job. Simply put, imagine a pack of wolves. There is the alpha of the pack who gets all the privileges of being in that place.  The alphas get to eat first while the pack watches their backs. They get the best piece of the meat, and the members of the pack accepts that because of the role these alphas hold.  It means once danger approaches, they are expected to be the first to jump into the battle field. Alpha wolves  protect the members of the pack and keep them safe.

Same thing goes in businesses. A leader gets all the privileges that comes with the title because they earned it. But they also pay the price for holding that place. They too put themselves first for their team. It is the leader’s job to jump into battles, takes responsibility when something goes wrong, and gives credit when something is done right. It is the leader’s job to make sure the employees who are not performing at their optimal capacity are not facing difficulties in their personal lives, holding them back or affecting their work performance. Leaders lead by example.

78410178_2751404794898197_7713083131229634560_nThis is how to sustain a business and how to build an environment for people to feel connected to.  This is how you gain the loyalty of your team members, and in return they become loyal to their jobs. Because when team members love their leaders,  their team and their jobs, they will give it all they got,  even on their worst days. When they trust they have someone to hold their backs, they feel safe, motivated and they go to their jobs every morning, because it is worth it.

People always say their jobs should give them a sense of purpose. Their jobs should be something they love to do. But it’s never ‘the job’. One leader can change an entire group of people from mediocre to outstanding. So, if you want to lead, take it upon yourself to pay the price that comes with leadership. And if you want to manage, then enjoy having a bunch of people who hate  showing up to work everyday and wishing the day would pass so they can get out safely.

Ask yourself this question today if you are holding a place of authority or if you wish to one day; am I ready to pay the price of leadership?

77116356_2256341784664077_923663305761882112_nMerna Fawzy graduated from the University of Ottawa, Canada, with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications. She’s a certified inbound marketer, amateur boxer and fitness enthusiast. Merna is  Senior Account Executive by day and an enthusiastic writer by night. A good book and a cup of coffee in a quiet environment are heaven to her. She also enjoys baking and cooking.

 

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