The first commandment – lead when leadership is needed

lead-when-leadership-is-neededThis post kicks off my in-depth look at the Twelve Commandments For Success In The Modern World that I launched last week. Over the next six weeks, I’m going to take a look at each of the commandments and discuss why I think they are so important.

So – the first commandment is: Lead when leadership is needed!

We all need to be leaders sometimes in our lives. Whatever job you hold, whatever your family situation or whatever you do to help in your community, there are occasions when you are called upon to step up and lead. There are also some times where it is obvious that leadership is needed. No-one else better qualified or better suited is stepping up to take on the leadership role and you need to.

Whatever the reason and whatever the drive; to be successful in the modern world takes leadership skills – as distinct from management skills. Leadership skills are the skills you use to get the job done and bring others along with you to move a project to completion. Management skills are the set of skills you use to administer a project and keep it on the rails as it moves along.

There are a number of traits that successful modern leaders have in common;

  • They listen actively
  • They can gather information effectively from many sources
  • They can build that information into one clear picture (vision)
  • They can make clear decisions when they are needed
  • They can communicate well with others at all levels
  • They can motivate others to follow the vision they create

You can assess your own abilities in these key areas and decide which ones may need some additional work as you continue on your journey to personal success. As you move the needle in these key areas your own leadership skills will grow. You should also look for opportunities to use your leadership skills both in and out of work. Leadership is like a muscle and it needs to be exercised so take the opportunities that present themselves to develop your leadership skills.

The second part of the message in the first success commandment is “when leadership is needed”. Success in the modern world is about knowing when to lead and when to be a team-player and let someone else take on the leadership role. This is a huge change from old models of leadership that were based on strong hierarchies and designated leaders. Flexibility and the ability to work on multiple projects with people at all levels are the keys to success.

Underlying the commandment of lead when leadership is required is one simple message – flexibility. Above all else, being Mentally Awake is about being flexible at all times and adapting your role to what is needed to get the job done.

Join the discussion with the Insider community! How do your roles adapt and change when the situation demands it? How often do you find yourself in both leadership and team member roles with the same people?

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