Leadership is About Doing

Leadership is more about what you’re doing today than it is about what you did yesterday.

You may have done lots of great things yesterday that helped you earn your leadership position. Having a leadership position however does not make you a leader. Even being a great leader yesterday does not ensure you’re a great leader today.

You never “arrive” as a leader because the leadership journey never stops. Great leaders know that since their people are always evolving that they must evolve as well. They are constantly learning, always growing and perpetually looking for new ways to help their people succeed. 

No matter how effective you may have been yesterday if you’re not trying to be better today then your ability to lead will quickly fail you…and your people. 

We can talk forever about the characteristics of a leader but merely having some or even all of those characteristics does not make you a leader. It’s putting those characteristics to work, actually DOING something with them that makes you a leader. 

When you demonstrate that you care about your people, that’s doing.

When you model the behavior you want and need from your people, that’s doing.

When you cast the vision for your organization and people, that’s doing.

When you make the tough decisions that others are afraid to make, that’s doing.

When you’re willing to risk a confrontation to resolve issues and help people grow, that’s doing too!

What you did in the past may have earned you a leadership position but what you do today and tomorrow will determine if you’re really a leader. A leadership position is not someplace you go to rest on your laurels, it’s a place that you go to build upon them. 

If you were to go on trial this week, charged with being a leader, would there be enough evidence to convict you?

If you’re answer is anything other than an absolute yes then perhaps you’re a little short in the area of doing. The good news is, building a case for your leadership ability is completely within your control. 

The only question is, will you DO anything about it?

22 thoughts on “Leadership is About Doing

  1. I like your post. It made me think about how being a leader is casting a vision for the future and then influencing others towards it. I am offering tips to help leaders develop themselves at bossinthemiddle.com

  2. Excellent! I have been a leader for 28 years and I am still learning how to BE a leader. Times have changed, employees have changed, customer expectations have changed….I hope I have changed effectively in my leadership style.

    • Congratulations, I’ve seen too many in leadership positions who refused to update their skills. They insist that their people “keep their skills up” while assuming their own skills are set for life…you know what happens when we assume…😀

  3. Jim Dudley says:

    You are absolutely on target. Like a great teacher, a great leader continues to reach out to others. Nothing great about a leader of groups of special interests. Don’t sit on your laurels by merely having a following. Reach out to those who can benefit from leadership but for whatever reason (apathy, unclear on the concept, suspicious, etc.) they don’t see the benefit.

    • Yes, leadership is many things and one of those things is an activity. If you’re not an active leader then you’re probably not a leader. True leaders don’t try to force people to drink, they work to make them thirsty.

  4. I agree with all that you said defines an effective Leader. The only thing I would add is that in order to do all your do’s, you first have to make sure that you are the best at being…a human being. Now, maybe you would call that doing, but sometimes I think we have become human doings, without taking the time to reflect on whether we are the best human being, equipped with the right morals, ethics, faith, values and the ability to build trust. We get so caught up in the doing, that we don’t take enough time just to be. That leads to burnout and also sometimes not the best reactions or decisions. It also sometimes leads to the perception that we are not present and listening actively to the people we are leading. But I guess that could be considered doing as well.

    • I had a mentor who once told me that you’re not really good at anything if you don’t have balance in your life. I agree with you, balance requires that sometimes what we need to be doing is nothing, intentionally “do” nothing.

  5. Real good advice take ever day as it comes and improve on what has happened the day before!

    True leaders have to lead from the early morning till they go home then when at home they begin the next day by planing that’s what defines a true leader, see this in your post!

    If your nit a leader yet, take note, this is how you become a great future leader, you need to be at work before your leader, and if he stays you stay, this is so when he looks for someone to to do something, he will turn around and see you every time and you will in a very short time be noticed as being availabl, if and when a position becomes available whom do you thing he will promote the one that’s always there for him, that is you, you have put yourself in his minds eye and whom can he rely on yes you!

    I am just starting to write a book which is a very long process but it has to be right as it’s about healing your body with foods it’s nit just about the foods you need to eat but depending on what your illness is the ones you must not eat!

    Best Regards,
    James.

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