A few years back I used to ponder this question every day as I was on the cusp of moving into a leadership role.
I was convinced that I was ready to take a leadership role, but yet it kept eluding me. I was rated consistently as a top performer in my role and had good hikes and great bonuses, but for some unfathomable reason, I was overlooked for a leadership promotion.
This led to me soul searching – reaching out to my mentors, taking leadership training, and spending hours and hours of discussions with my management chain who helped me slowly understand the gap.
I was still thinking about “My Team”, “My role”, and “My Success”.
As humans by design, we are wired to be competitive. We want the best for ourselves. This slowly translates and reflects in the following way in our corporate goals:
– I should have the best role in my company
– I should be the stand-out performer in my team
– My team should be the best
What I realized was, these goals fast-tracked the early half of my career. You scale quickly and bring yourself closer to a leadership position and then it comes to a grinding halt.
The trait that I had to add was to “Think like a leader” – it was not just about my or my team’s success. As a leader, I had to take care of everyone around me.
“A leader would never notice a broken window and walk away saying why should I or my team fix this? This is not in my charter”
I started exhibiting this trait on a daily basis by:
– volunteering to help my peers and other teams
– mentoring other team members who were struggling
– not approaching a task with a “what’s in it for me” mindset
And that was the year, I finally was elevated to a leadership position.
If you see someone in your team who exhibits this trait, groom them. They are the assets who will turn the page for the organization.