Are You a Leader or a Wanna-Be-Leader?

by Nov 29, 2018

Let’s get straight to the point, what do you want from people who take the lead? Does this differ in any way from how you want others to view you when you take the lead? If you carry a title of owner, manager or director, then you’re a leader; if you don’t carry one of those titles, it doesn’t mean you’re not.

Whether you’re a student, volunteer, teammate or co-worker, you can be a leader. There are thousands of resources attempting to define what it takes to be a leader. However, if you want to be a leader, I suggest you start by examining your own life.

Think about leaders for whom you have a high level of respect. What strikes you about these individuals? Do you value their vision, honesty, hard work? Do you want to be like them, but continuously fall short? If so, then you are a wanna-be-leader.

Let’s look behind the scenes of a real leader by comparing the beliefs and traits of real leaders and wanna-be- leaders.

• Trust others from day one
• Believe in coaching
• Hire and fire based on core values
• Credit others for positive results
• Accept responsibility for poor results
• Create their legacy by serving to take care of others

• Make others earn their trust
• Believe in “constructive” criticism
• Hire and fire based on gut instinct
• Take credit for positive results
• Place blame for poor results
• Create their legacy by taking control to protect their own reputation

Being a wanna-be-leader is easy. Being a leader isn’t. This is because emotions are powerful. They can be the fuel that motivates; however, they also have the potential to get in the way of our most important business and personal relationships. As John Kotter of Harvard Business School stated, “Because of the furious pace of change in business today, difficult-to-manage relationships sabotage more business than anything else. It is not a question of strategy that gets us into trouble; it is a question of emotions.”

Being a leader does not happen by accident. It is what occurs as you choose how to deal with the people around you. Each moment provides you the opportunity to make critical decisions and work toward victory by expanding your vision, stretching out to accomplish your goals, and assuming full responsibility for living, growing, and contributing.

Leaders persevere through disappointments and setbacks. They gave “grit.” It is the hallmark of leaders in war, life, and business. Also, understand that leaders don’t just power through the tough times. They have a positive mindset, healthy habits, and the ability to bring out the best in others. This is where wanna-be-leaders continuously fall short.

So, are you a leader or a wanna-be-leader? If you want to be a leader, start by examining your own beliefs and traits. Then, consider investing in yourself. A DDI Report recently indicated that companies with high leadership qualities are six times more likely to be among the top 20 financial performers of all organizations.

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Managing emotion is just one of many topics we cover in our RedRock leadership, management training and coaching programs. We also offer incredibly informative behavioral assessments that can help you learn more about yourself and what triggers your emotions.

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Jeff Ruby

Jeff Ruby

Founder & CEO of RedRock Leadership

During the course of his professional career, he has worked in organizations ranging in size from a sole practitioner to Fortune 500. Included in his experience are roles in starting and selling companies, sales and sales management, training and development and executive coaching.

RedRock Leadership is a sales training and leadership development company committed to growing companies by growing individuals through on-going training infused with the competencies of emotional intelligence.