Are you ready to become a leader?

Sometimes no matter how much you want something, you’re just not ready. This is more true of leadership than any other aspect of business. People crave leadership positions, they want to move up the corporate food chain, often because of the rewards and prestige that come with it, but they rarely consider the consequences of not being ready for that big promotion with the fancy title and the big salary. I’m in a unique position, because I work almost exclusively with corporate leaders and leadership teams, so I’ve seen this first hand. Here are eight signs that you’re not ready for leadership…not yet anyway:

1. You’re everyone’s best friend.

Do you need to be liked? Does it bother you if someone doesn’t like you? Do you then go out of your way to win them over? Does your heart flutter when you get a new ‘friend’ request or ‘like’ on Facebook? To be an effective leader you need to let go of your need to be popular and accept the people who don’t like you.

Leadership is NOT a popularity contest. You need to maintain a certain amount of distance between you and the people you lead. They don’t have to like you to listen to you and respect you. ~ Narges Nirumvala

2. The earth revolves around you.

You need to have the best car in the lot, the biggest house on the block and you judge people who don’t. If you want that promotion, new job or board position for the prestige, money or the size of the corner office, then you’re probably too much of a self-centered nutcase to be a truly effective and inspiring leader. Although the sad thing is that the world is full of leaders just like this.    

Leadership isn’t about you at all. It’s about the people you serve, the opportunities you create and the problems you solve. ~ Narges Nirumvala

3. You hate change.

There’s nothing wrong with being a creature of habits. After all good habits are the basis of excellence in any endeavor. However, if you don’t embrace change and learn how to navigate it with finesse you will fail as a leader. Because change is constant in today’s business climate. So get used to it or get out. 

4. You’re average.

Are you average? Think about it for a minute…I know that no one, if asked, would admit that they are average, but the truth is many people are. They don’t excel at anything, they just plod along putting one foot in front of the other and for most things that might be fine and dandy but NOT for leadership.

To be an effective leader you MUST embrace excellence and aim to be the BEST in your field, or else why would people look up to you? ~ Narges Nirumvala

5. You’re unreliable and inconsistent.

I believe passionately that being consistent is a huge part of effective leadership. People must be able to rely upon you and you must be true to your word; that shows integrity. Now I’m not saying you have to be perfect, we’re human and everyone makes mistakes, but more often then not you should be a person of your word and someone other people can turn to in a crisis. 

6. You lack emotional intelligence.

I’ve mentioned this in leadership articles before and I’ll probably mention it again because it is that important. Developing your emotional intelligence is as important as your technical education and training, perhaps more so, because it will dictate how well you lead people.

The world is full of people who are intelligent, analytically and highly educated, but they still fail to realize their leadership potential because they lack emotional intelligence. As a result they don’t build rapport and truly engage the people around them in a way that will MOVE them to action. ~Narges Nirumvala

7. You don’t take feedback well.

Are you ‘coachable’? Do you take feedback well? This one I see all the time. To be an effective leader you must first be an effective follower and that means taking feedback and constructive criticism well. Don’t take things personally and just see it as an opportunity to learn and grow.

8. You’ve never failed at anything.

If your life has been one success after another and you’ve never experience failure, then you will not realize your true potential as a leader. Why? Because great leaders must take calculated risks and some of those risks will fail. Leaders cannot avoid failure, but effective leaders know how to recover from it.

I would argue that the more you fail, the greater your opportunity for success in the long run, especially if you keep moving forward and learn from each experience. Failure will teach you more than success ever will. ~Narges Nirumvala

Go over this list and think about the leaders in your organization. Which signs do you see in them? Which signs do you see in yourself? The best news I have for you is that you can transform your leadership potential, first by recognizing the need for improvement and then by taking action. Do you think I missed something? Share it in the comments below!

© 2015 Narges Nirumvala

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