Ever wonder if you're leadership material? How do you know? The better question is, how do you know if you're not leadership material and you may be hurting people or the business?

Thousands of leadership books have been written, each expanding on what we've known to be true about leadership over the decades: real leadership is about people and the relationships you develop with your people.

To talk yourself out of the immense responsibility that comes with calling oneself "leader," another nudge is in order. Great leaders aspire to serve others when they lead. 

If that hasn't convinced you that you may not be cut out for leadership, here are three clear and resounding ways that will tell you it may be time to hang it up.    

1. You don't care enough to want to make people better at what they do.

A sign of leadership greatness is creating a learning organization that relies upon the knowledge of individual contributors, rather than the classical hierarchical organization, which relies on the knowledge of the top of the hierarchy. Leaders who are looking ahead to develop the skills, competencies, and leadership of others have a distinct advantage. As they create the environment for people to develop in mastery, intrinsic motivation is unleashed.

2. You steal the spotlight.

I have seen this scenario play out many times before in consulting and coaching my management clients. The team puts together a wonderful product, and the client can't stop talking about how elated they are. And then it happens: The manager takes all the credit and steals his or her employees' thunder. There's no praise for valued team members, no celebration of everyone's success, no recognition of team members for their contributions. This typical mistake of stealing the light and thunder away from the team will demoralize employees and send a clear message that they're not valued. 

3. You like to control people.

A person not fit for the role of leader micromanages to the last detail. The situation is overbearing and stifling because he or she wants control over decisions. He or she distrusts the team and doesn't delegate so there's little room for group discussion or input because the management style is autocratic. In turn, creativity is stifled. The space to learn new things and fail forward are absent under this demoralizing dictatorship.

Published on: Aug 30, 2019
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