I’m afraid I’m not good enough; not a good enough Christ-follower, husband, father, or coach to my clients. Maybe I’m crazy to share that publicly, but most of you, if you’re honest, struggle with the same feelings of inadequacy, especially when it comes to leading the people in your business. But I have good news for both of us: being a great leader isn’t a mystery and it’s not rocket science, it’s actually quite simple.
When you engage with the people you’re called to lead, they are continually asking three questions of you, and if you can answer these questions affirmatively through your actions, they will go to tremendous lengths to make your business (or project or department or advisory relationship or any other endeavor) successful. Here are the three key questions:
- Do you care about me? Not do you care about their performance or how they behave or their credentials or accomplishments, but do you care about them – their health, their family, their happiness, their interests. If you don’t care about them, it doesn’t make you a bad person, it just makes you a bad leader.
- Are you committed to me and the mission of the business? This is a “both/and” thing. There will be times when the individual sacrifices for the organization and vice versa, but as a leader you must commit to the mutual success of the individual and the organization. You’ll know you’re on the right track when, facing a difficult situation, you make that mutual-success commitment before you know how you’re going to pull it off. If committing before planning makes you want to throw up in the trash can, that doesn’t make you a bad leader, that just makes you normal.
- Do you have what it takes? If your people know you care about and are committed to them, you’ve earned their trust, but that’s not enough. You have to deliver on your end of the deal; you have to cast a vision and manage to success. This is where the fear rushes back in, “what if I don’t have what it takes?” And this is where you need a system. You wouldn’t be where you are without great technical and industry expertise, but you need a system to help you clarify your vision, get the right people on the team, set clear goals and measurements, and hold people accountable to results. The system is the transmission that turns your caring, commitment, and mental horsepower into forward motion.
Assess yourself against that standard and you’re likely to find that the caring, commitment, and skills and expertise are in you, but you don’t have a system to turn those qualities into great leadership. You’re like an athlete with tremendous natural abilities but no coach or training plan, so you’re falling short of your potential, and that’s why you feel like you’re not good enough. But you are good enough, more than good enough, you just need a system.
Don’t wait any longer and let me know how I can help.