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Is Leadership For Me? Part I

"To an extent, leadership is like beauty: It's hard to define, but you know it when you see it." Warren Bennis -- Professor Emeritus USC School of Business

I’m A Leader!

The day you move into a leadership role life changes. The reality of being a leader is far from what most expect it to be due to the complexities of human behavior, organizational life, as well as personal/professional motivations to be in a position of leadership.

Some people move effortlessly into their leadership role. Many new leaders struggle as they try to learn on the job. Some love their role as a leader, and others see it more of an annoyance and getting in the way of doing the “real work.”

Make no mistake: leadership is “real” work that keeps teams and organizations moving forward and not everyone is cut out for it.

Are you?

Leadership Realities

Leading people is not for the faint of heart. It’s tough, exhausting, challenging, frustrating, and can be soul-draining some days. It’s not an easy job.

On the other hand leading people can be exhilarating, mind-expanding, rewarding, and dare I say fun?

Leadership can be a fusion of contradictions -- even on a good day.

Disclaimer: The goal of this post is not to be negative about leadership, or bum anyone out! The goal is to have you take a good look inside yourself, ask some tough questions, then make a decision based on fact, not fantasy.

Activity: Asking Yourself The Question

Why do you want to be a leader? Have you really thought about it, and are you very clear on your motivation?

Consider these questions to clarify your motivation:

● Why do you want to be a leader? Really, why?

● What do you like most (or think you’ll like most) about a leadership role?

● What do you like least (or think you’ll like least) about being in a leadership role?

● What are your current strengths (self-assessed) as a leader?

● What are the areas of opportunity for your leadership development?

● What do you want to be known for as a leader -- your legacy?

The process of building self-awareness about motivation, interests, skills, and gaps can help guide you in your decision-making process. You have to clear on the “why” before you can get to the “how.”

Current Motivation Scale

On a scale of 1-10 with 1 being “No motivation” and 10 being “I’m totally motivated and ready” where do you fall at this point?


No matter where you fall on the scale right now, it’s not time to make a decision yet. This is just the warm-up, and the beginning of the conversation. In Part II of this post we will explore a bit more, and then come back to the scale. At that point you’ll be better equipped to make some decisions about your future.

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