Most of these “Leadership Proverbs” I’ve just picked up, absorbed and imbibed by some process of osmosis along the way and don’t know exactly whom they originated from. But when I know I’ll make reference, and when I don’t it’s not that I’m ungrateful or that I want to appear like a genius. It’s genuinely that I can’t remember. So if I’ve flogged something from you let me know and I’ll happily acknowledge it.
Everything must be genuine
You can’t fake it for very long. Whatever “it” is, eventually the truth will come out. When it comes to leading a team whatever you do and say needs to be genuine because the pressures of the role will push the reality to the surface. If you say it’s important to you, it needs to be important to you. If you say you care you really do need to care. If you say you want their opinion, then their opinion needs to be genuinely taken into account and consideration. If you’ve lost your excitement and passion then be real about that and don’t try and manufacture it.
Now this doesn’t mean you have to wear your heart on your sleeve and tell everyone everything. In fact, a team leader needs to be careful what they say, to whom they say it and when they say it. Whether you wear your heart on your sleeve or not is largely about personality. That’s not what this is. This is being genuine. It just means you are real with your team and that when you say and do things you mean them.
This can be a risky thing, particularly when you’re talking about a lack of excitement for the cause or a loss of passion for the vision. It can be risky because perhaps the people you lead will then in turn lose their excitement for the cause as they see your excitement wane. Perhaps they’ll be less inclined to follow you. Genuineness is risky, particularly in these type of circumstances. But here are two thoughts to keep in mind:
1) Excitement is not the same as commitment. My excitement can go up and down while at the exact same time my commitment stays consistent .
2) While this genuineness is risky it is far riskier to fake it. Not only do you sacrifice your own integrity (this happens whether or not anyone ever finds out) but when people discover you’ve been faking it the impact on your credibility can far worse. Faking it is far more risky.