I’m not great at following. Mostly because I don’t want to be, but also because I have really strong opinions/feelings on leadership.
I expect a lot from a leader…here are just a few of those things:
1. Make it all about the mission. Don’t make it about you, the fact that you are the leader, what you need/get, or anything else. Make it about the mission and you’ll remove *most* of the emotional baggage that can make leadership difficult.
2. Make tough decisions, rapidly. Make small decisions even more rapidly. The more time you appear to waste (really our most precious asset), the less respect as a leader you will have. The fact that they are tough decisions is why they are the ones *you* have to make…you should be in a position to know enough in advance to at least have a ‘gut feel’ for what the right decision is (and the more you stick to point #1, the easier tough decisions are).
3. Communicate. Don’t complain. Be clear about the tough decisions you are making, point out how and why they are true to the mission and make sure everyone has access to that knowledge. Then move on.
4. Turn into the conflict, not away. The faster you turn to face conflict, and the more you allow the mission to guide your decisions throughout the conflict, the better the all around results will be.
Movies, books, the press all glorify the role of leader…but it’s really not very fun at all to be the leader.
Every second of every day you will be challenged by emotions, by outsiders, and by those you are leading…your mission, and your commitment to it, will be in a constant state of question…how true you stick to it, how clearly you communicate that, and how quickly you do it all will be my true measurement of your leadership.
These are just a few of my 'requirements’ before I’m willing to follow someone…but I’m wondering, what requirements do you have?
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Kevin has a day job as CTO of Veritonic and is spending nights & weekends hacking on Share Game Tape. You can also check out some of his open source code on GitHub or connect with him on Twitter @falicon or via email at kevin at falicon.com.
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