When people have to, all of a sudden, not just have good ideas or the right financial analysis, but sell ideas to stakeholders who are very different, who aren’t necessarily going to have the same criteria to evaluate the value of a proposition, they can feel like the new role requires them to value form over substance, to be political, and because of that it feels inauthentic. How to Be an Impactful Leader.
You could say that they’re staying true to their values, but those values that are very anchored in their old roles. Values oftentimes change with success. I’m not talking about people starting to lie and cheat. I’m talking about what you think is a legitimate way to contribute and spend your time evolves as you have experiences doing different things and interacting with different parties.
Of course, you can’t always be authentic. You can’t be totally transparent. You can’t say everything that comes to your mind. Sometimes you have to act more confident than you actually feel. It’s not a lack of integrity or a lack of moral core. It’s just life. We’re in a transitional period where there typically isn’t overt discrimination, but there is a sense of less benefit of the doubt—intangible, implicit bias.
That’s why women get caught in double binds. Either you’re invisible or too visible. For example, women are sometimes more hesitant than men about taking credit or positioning themselves individually because they know they’ll pay a higher price for self-promotion. But then they’re not viewed as the leader because they have framed the accomplishment as a collaborative effort.
I’ve also seen a tendency for women to stick to operational results as concrete measures of their contribution. With objective indicators you feel less vulnerable to attacks on your authority. But that can also backfire. In one of my studies, we saw that women were rated higher than men in all leadership competencies except one.
In part, that is the result of women framing what they do in the measureable ways instead of the harder to define elements of vision and rhetoric. Over the course of a career, that makes it harder to move into the strategic, mission-critical jobs. Another big issues is that too many women still advance through the staff-support track as opposed to the big-client, big-market, revenue-generating track.
Interviewed and edited by Ted O’Callahan.
Entrepreneurs, whether they start with strong leadership skills or not, must know how to lead a team effectively. If you weren’t born with the skills and traits of a leader – and let’s face it; few of us were – this reality can be tough to accept. You might not have a team to lead yet.
Whether intentional or not, any time you go back on your word, you lose credibility. This is something you will need to have in mind before you ever make a commitment. It is about more than just your intentions – most everyone has made a promise with the best of intentions, only to break it later when they realize that they just aren’t able to do what they planned to do.
That means knowing your limitations. Challenging yourself is good, but once you’ve committed to doing something, you no longer have a choice. Get it done, no matter what. To Be A Leader, Treat Your Team Right You’re familiar with the “golden rule” – treat others as you want to be treated.
These are both great philosophies to follow in life. How to Become a Leader. When leading a team in business, though, an even better rule to abide by is to treat your team the way you want your customers to be treated. Your team looks to you as an example. How you treat them is what they see as the model of how you expect them to behave toward each other and toward your patrons.
It means respecting their ideas and opinions, even when you disagree. It means appreciating their work, and showing it. It also means listening to suggestions. While yours is the final decision, the people you lead often have great ideas. Be willing to hear them out. And if one of your people has a better idea than yours, acknowledge that and act on it.
You might be an expert in the product or service you sell. Then again, maybe you’re not – there are certainly successful businesses started by people who initially had no clue what they were getting into. Either way, to be seen as a leader to your team and especially to be seen as a leader in your industry, your expertise needs to be developed.