Whether you work for a company, run your own business, or are a leader in some other group, your success as a leader cannot – and will not – be stagnant. Like any other part of your life, success in leadership requires continued work and development. All parts of our lives need to be evaluated and efforts to take ourselves to the next level need to executed. If you have been wondering how to know when it is time to reinvent yourself as a leader then this article is for you.
You stop seeing results: This might seem obvious, but sometimes it’s easy to overlook what we don’t want to see. A big red flag that your leadership needs some work is that you stop seeing the results that you want to see. Leadership implies a goal – if you stop seeing forward movement from your team, you should take a look at how you are leading. What is it about what you are doing that is limiting the results of your team? What can you do to change the way you are leading? What can you do to support your team?
People are disengaged: The people you are leading will let you know how you are doing as a leader, in both blunt and subtle ways. If your team is inactive or not paying attention, it’s time to reflect on the gaps in your leadership. Pay attention to how your people are showing up. Are they going above and beyond, or trying to get away with the bare minimum? While individual character traits (like motivation and integrity) will always play a role in team performance, you will be surprised at how much more engagement you can create by changing your leadership approach.
The thrill is gone: Are you feeling less-than-engaged as a leader? Is the idea of another project – or taking the next steps on your current one – less than interesting to you? Are you resenting the action that you need to take? If you are no longer enjoying your leadership, then chances are you need to find a new way of being in leadership. It is time to reinvent yourself as a leader when you feel you’ve run out of good reasons to lead. I promise you, there are more.
Ongoing conflict: Conflict is part of any team effort, but when the problems persist it is time to take notice. Ongoing conflict is a sign that something is not working correctly and, since you are the leader, it probably means that you need to adjust the way that you are holding your leadership. When you get better, the people you are leading get better. Being a leader doesn’t mean being perfect. It means being attentive and being the first to step forward when it is time for change.
You may need to reinvent yourself entirely or it may just be an aspect of your leadership that needs some updating. Remember this is not because you have done something wrong but a natural part of the process of growth whereby you become the best leader and have the most positive impact you have.
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