I’m not an old and wise leader . . . but I have been around the block a few times. This week I’m commenting on three issues that I’ve seen crop up with young leaders all the time. I’ve already paid the stupid tax on these issues . . . I hope you don’t have to.
Leaders with an external locus of control scare me. You know the type . . . they are the leaders who things always happen to . . . rather than leaders who make things happen. As a young leader you are responsible for stuff in your area. Period.
If something goes wrong . . . don’t blame the people who report to you. Go to your supervisor (don’t wait for them to come to you) and own up to the issues. Explain how you and your team missed the mark and how you are fixing it. This builds trust in you and your team. Nothing erodes trust in you faster than the blame game.
If you don’t have enough resources to complete a task . . . don’t wait for resources to magically appear. You are going to need to become a hustler to find those resources. Trade something you have for something another department needs. Stop a project to fund the new thing. Pay for it by yourself – as in with your own money.
If you see something that’s not right in another area of the company . . . don’t claim that it’s not your job to help other areas. If you have been given any measure of leadership in an organization you are responsible for the entire organization. Leaders who say “it’s not my job” will have their leadership influence limited.
There is no “Plan B” in your organization. As a young leader you are responsible for helping us move the ball down the field. You’re role is to help us consistently move towards the win. There isn’t anyone else who is going to do it. You are responsible.
On Friday we’re going to look at a critical factor that will either lid your leadership or give you increasing scope and influence.