By Bryan K. Williams
What does it mean to lead? At least two conditions must be met. First, you must have a clear destination in mind. Secondly, at least one other person has to be following. If no one is following, then you are not leading. As John Maxwell once wrote, “if you think you are leading, but no one is following, then you are just taking a walk.” However, strong leaders do more than just influence others to follow. Strong leaders are lifters. They encourage, inspire, challenge and recognize performance on a regular basis.
Count yourself as blessed if you have ever been led by a strong leader. You may or may not have liked being led by that person…at that time. Inevitably, you will look back and see how much you’ve grown as a direct result of that person’s leadership. Reach back and thank that person. Let them know how much you appreciated his/her leadership.
I am convinced that one of the worst things in the world is an apathetic leader. One with no conviction. One who consistently accepts mediocrity, then blames the staff for their lack of drive. Strong leaders are not afraid to stand up for their convictions, and the company’s values. The company’s mission truly means something to them.
Strong leaders accept the daily responsibility of ensuring that all team members are ready for their shifts. They know each team member well and they notice when an exceptional employee is not being “exceptional”. Strong leaders call out indifference. As convenient as it may be to ignore apathy on the team, strong leaders confront it, and then reminds everyone of their justifiably high standards. The standards are high because strong leaders genuinely believe in each person on the team. Or, put another way, they don’t allow anyone on the team they don’t believe in. Their stance is clear…”You are on my team because I believe in you, and I know that you can be exceptional.”
To all the strong leaders reading this, please don’t ever stop marching forward. Always be encouraging. Don’t compromise. Never stop learning. Expect everyone on your team to succeed.
For every leader, here is a note from your staff…those people you are fortunate to lead.
Lift Me Higher
Push me, challenge me, inspire me.
Accept nothing less than my absolute best.
Don’t accept my excuses…my seemingly logical reasons for not doing it right the first time.
Tell me that you expect more from me.
Tell me that you believe in me, and treat me accordingly.
Give me opportunities to grow, and expect me to succeed.
Hold me accountable to your high expectations.
Accept nothing less.
You are a shaper, a molder, a curator of talent.
As a result of you, my present and my future are that much brighter.
Even when I don’t see it, you remind me there is more for me to do…more for me to accomplish.
Lift me…Lift me higher.
Insist on excellence.
Refuse to waver.
I believe in you, because you believe in me.
Lift me higher.