Do You Want to Be a Leader? Ask Yourself These 3 Questions

Posted by in Career Advice

Being a leader is difficult, whether it be in the workplace, volunteer group, or military. Well, being a good leader is difficult, at least. There are greater expectations and responsibilities on your shoulders, and you are accountable for an entire team in addition to yourself. The leader becomes the example for all else to follow, for better or for worse. Think you’re up to the challenge? Here are three key questions to ask yourself if you want to be a leader:

1. Am I Ready?

This may seem like a basic question, but it’s an important one. Be honest with yourself; there’s no shame in taking time to gain the experience and confidence you need to lead. In the words of Aristotle, “He who cannot be a good follower cannot be a good leader.” It is crucial to be fully prepared for the responsibility of leadership, and that means understanding the roles of those you are leading. The best leaders should be able to do the same work as their followers in order to operate as a cohesive unit. 

2. Am I Willing to Take on this Responsibility, and to Learn and Grow?

An increase in position usually means an increase in practically everything else. This includes everything from responsibility and dedication to pay. Elevated duty can be an uncomfortable shift for your lifestyle, and it’s best to evaluate that shift before making a decision. Do you have the time and facilities to take up this challenge? And are you willing to dedicate your energy to learning and improving to become a good leader? If not, it may be best to postpone your plans for an advanced position while you hone your more basic skills. If you are ready for this responsibility, think of how you can best serve your team. Even though they will be working under you, it will be your responsibility to work for them as well.

3. Will I be the Best Leader Possible?

Leaders and followers alike should always have the team’s best interest in mind. If this is not the case, the team will not operate at its full potential. Consider the other members of your team. Will you be the most valuable leader for them? Will you be able to inspire them, organize them, and manage them the most efficiently? Or is there someone better suited for the task? If you truly are the best candidate for the position, full steam ahead. If not, there is nothing wrong with being a team player. In fact, decisions like this one are crucial in developing leadership skills.

Remember, being a leader does not separate you from the team. At the end of the day, you are the rudder steering your ship to success. Every member must fulfill their respective responsibilities in order to reach a common goal. If you answer these questions truthfully, and you feel as though you are ready to become a leader, remember to be a good follower first. From here, plan to be the most effective leader possible, and always keep your team’s best interest in mind.


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