My husband and I recently watched two movies, The King’s Speech and Battleship.
Both depicted characters who were thrust into leadership before they thought they were ready.
Their first reaction was denial, mixed with a hint of resentment, “Why me? Why now?”
Neither thought they were ready nor capable.
Has that ever happened to you? How did you react?
Regardless of your history, how do you think you’d react now if you wer suddenly handed a huge, visible, critical responsibility?
Whether you’ve just been thrust into the spotlight or are longing for that level of accountability, here are some ideas that will amplify your readiness for the role.
1) Have faith you can do it.
Most people downplay their abilities. Our parents taught us not to boast or brag. We’ve seen other leaders get assassinated (literally or figuratively). Plus, let’s face it, it’s more comfortable for most not to be in the limelight and just carry on with their regular routine.
The truth is, we’re far more capable than we generally believe. It often takes some catastropic event for us to figure out what we’re really made of.
2) Have faith in others.
Don’t try to accomplish mammoth tasks alone. Look for help. Ask for help. Assume help and make requests. You may need to provide some context to your ‘team’ (whether ad hoc, virtual or designated). They need to know the import of what you’re asking them to take on. They need to know what’s at stake. They’ll likely have to step up too.
3) Invest in yourself.
You may need support beyond what your immediate team can provide. The King of England hired a coach/speech therapist to help him with his stuttering. It was a secret arrangement initially and required the King to not be ‘King’ which caused some challenges in the beginning. The King had to set his ego aside and recognize he didn’t have all the answers. He also had to reach deep inside and work on his inner game in addition to his moving mouth parts.
4) Be bold.
This is not the time for timidity. In critical times, big actions are needed. Perhaps you need to stop an impending disaster. Or perhaps, you’re needed to win the big game. Whatever it is, you must go beyond the tried and true. It’s time to innovate.
5) Act, don’t think.
You don’t want to be stupid obviously, but you also don’t want to over-think your decisions. In emergency situations, speed is often the critical factor. Trust your gut. If an idea comes to you, try it out.
Leadership occurs when you put accomplishing the task at hand ahead of your ego and fear. You have to become a better person than you thought you were. It’s possible. Just step up.