“You want me to do what!? Don’t you know how busy I am? I have barely enough time to do what’s required and you want me to be a leader every day too!? You’ve got to be kidding me.”
This was the response I got from a manager when I suggested that he use the times when he is the busiest to develop his leadership awareness. I explained to him that it’s easier to lead when you have the time. Anyone can look good and do good when there is no stress.
But what about when you’re time-pressured with excessive demands? Exercising your leadership mindset and behavior is so much more difficult, but so much more noticeable.
What Leaders Do
Leaders rise above the moments where others falter, like when it is most frenetic, stressful, or overwhelming. While everyone around them is panicking, anxious and overwhelmed, leaders see the situation for what it is: a moment in time that will pass. Leaders establish a reassuring presence that others rely on and look to for how they too, should engage the moment.
How Leaders Do It
How do they do this? According to Dr. Dan Diamond, professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine, it’s because leaders have a clear sense that they are in control of their responses to situations, not victims. They also believe they have power to impact situations when others slink away. He explains his research in a worthwhile, 3-minute YouTube video here.
It’s never inappropriate or too early in your career to exhibit your leadership presence. Develop the discipline of being a leader every day.