As I continue to cherish the break I am currently taking to help raise our 7-month-old son and spend time with family, I have had a lot of time to sit down and reflect on my professional career to date. I look back and think about how it started, how it has evolved to where I am today, and where I think it will take me forward.
My experience over the years has mainly been in the areas of sales and leadership. These are two areas of discipline that I think are greatly underserved in terms of education and training in schools and in organizations today but, interestingly enough, make up a large portion of jobs and occupations in the world. It used to be that if you were ‘good with people’, an extrovert, or were really talkative and social, you were a good fit to be in sales or leadership. Unfortunately, without the proper support, coaching and guidance, people in these roles all to often fail before they even begin.
Some say that you’re born with it. Some would argue that a leader is the result of being a top individual performer. Or perhaps, maybe a bit of both. Unfortunately, regardless of which direction you start whether you're born with it or you’ve learned it along the way, without mentorship, they may struggle. And when it happens, the repercussions for an organization, a team, down to the individual are devastating and the effects of that can last a long time.
Is the blame set on the organization for not coaching the individual, or is the blame focused on the individual for not elevating their skill set to the new role? Again, probably a bit of both, but I think the main reason for any set back is the result of hard truths that are not properly communicated (or understood) before someone raises their hand to become a leader or when a company hires and/or promotes for one.
5 (Untold) Truths in Being a Leader
Treat people the way you want to be treated. It’s one of the oldest lessons we are taught as a kid but for some reason, it’s a lesson we all forget in the workplace. Maybe during times of stress, survival instincts kick into gear and we start to think of scarcity instead of abundance. "You got that promotion? You don’t deserve it, I’m a better rep than you” "You want to quit and work somewhere else? I’ll make sure you regret this decision”. It speaks towards insecurity and emotions in the moment that get the better of us. But being a good leader, and a good human, requires us to be honest with ourselves, and the people around us.
So as I start to search for my next journey in my career, I am reminded by the appreciation I have for all the great leaders who taught me how to be who I am today, and with that, I can only hope I do the same for others.
I’m interested to hear more, what other hard truths are there about being a leader and what do you think makes a great leader?
We all want the same thing. We are all human.
We are all humans. We all want to the same thing in one share of form. We want a good job, that pays appropriately and gives us fulfillment in life and with that to have money to spend on our family or friends as we see fit. We all want to be happy. But in the mess off all this, relationships are ruined, ethics are broken and we all fall victim…
Leadership, sales manager and front line managers.