- leaders must lead...once one is placed into a leadership position, there is no going back. The named leader does not get to wake up one morning and decide not to lead...those chosen to lead must lead.
- leaders must learn how to lead...being placed into a leadership position does not guarantee leadership. Leadership is a learned act (despite what others might believe or say) and one gets better at leading by practicing leadership skills, attitudes, and behaviors.
- leaders must make hard decisions...while there are many other people within an organzation who do the work and make decisions, those in leaders positions are looked at to make the decisions that make or break an organization. Leadership is not for the faint of heart or those who like to sit on the sidelines.
- leaders must build and work with a team...no one person leads an organization by themselves (even if they believe they do). Learning how to work with a team of highly professional people is critical to leading and to the success of any institution.
- leaders must know their business...because of the difficult decisions that leaders make, they have to fully understand the business they are in, the product they produce, and the customer they serve. While leadership skills are transferable (see last week's blog) leadership in a given context is not.
- leaders must be all in...because it's ALL about leadership, those in leadership roles need to be completely transparent, completely vulnerable, and completely committed to their organization and their role as leader. Half-hearted leadership not only hurts the institution, it is far from fulfilling for the individual.
A word for followers...when those who are being led realize it's all about leadership, it becomes their responsibility to ensure that leaders can and will lead. If someone in a leadership role chooses not to lead, who will hold them accountable to lead? If someone in a leadership role is struggling to lead, who will encourage them to lead? If others are hampering the ability of a leader to lead, who will confront their colleagues to allow the leader to lead? When it's ALL about leadership, then it's everyone's responsibility to ensure that leadership happens at its highests level becuase it's ALL about leadership.