Where Are You Leading Us?

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“You’re going to lead people somewhere, where are you taking them?” Unknown

It’s Monday. Are you ready to take yourself to the next level?  How about your team, your company? Or do you not know what the next level is?

Most people who are put into a leadership position aren’t really put in a leadership position. They are stuck in a managerial position that is called leadership.  Companies want to be full of “Leaders.” That is what they say, they don’t want people to just “manage” the team.  When in fact, that is what they want.  They want predictable outcomes on a consistent basis. They want someone to make sure that happens. They use the title leader when they mean manager.

Why go through the trouble of telling you what you already know? Because even if you are a manager in practice you are still leading a team.  Yes, the game is fixed against you.  You cannot radically change everything but you can lead your team.  The questions above are all you need.

You may be managing a McDonalds and feel trapped. But to lead is to take the raw machine you are given and to level it up.  Start with yourself.  Are you someone worth following? Is your lifestyle worth handing down to others? If not you have some changes and challenges ahead.  Then look at your team.  You may not have the highest skilled employees, but do they have the right attitude? If not, how are you going to lead them to it.  Do you need to fire some bad apples? Are you the bad apple?  Then what goals have you set with your team, that align their personal ambition with the work they do for a living? Oh, you never thought about them? You only considered what you can get from them?  Believe it or not the time they spend with your company is worth more than the pay they earn with you.

Now, leader here is your chance to make moves.  Your vision needs to be a tangible one for your company. What that means is everyone buys in and talks about it.  The vision becomes the culture. That vision becomes the journey. The journey is what it is all about as they say.  There is a danger though.  That danger is that the people who follow you talk about your vision and what you want to accomplish. That is a death nail.  That’s right, it is not their vision and they are not bought in.  So, you need to make the win, a win for everyone.  When you craft your vision for the best McDonalds in the state how are you going to make it a win for your employees? Are you going to prepare them to manage other McDonalds so they can level up? Are you going to write a great review for them so they can get a better job? Will your win be a win for them?  What does the story of accomplishment mean for them? Ask that question as you set out to envision a better, future for your team and company.