The past few weeks I’ve been considering leadership especially as it fits our current world stage. For those who’ve been in leadership positions where their job dictates they make decisions and lead people, these last couple of months have been undoubtedly trying. Let me start by saying thank you for your work. No matter your field, leading through crisis is not easy. But I believe crisis sorts leaders from managers.
There’s something we all experience in life that some call the leadership lid and others call the glass ceiling of leadership. The idea is simple you can only lead as far as you yourself have already gone. Another way to look at it is that you might be the one preventing your leadership from impacting those around you.
The leadership ceiling is the cap through which you just can’t break until you do some soul searching and personal growth work.
If you’re stuck in a rut in your leadership and don’t know what to do next, you may be approaching your leadership ceiling.
If you no longer have the influence you once did, then you likely are at your leadership ceiling.
In these times, you have to invest massively into those who are ahead of you. Find people in your field and take them out to lunch. Fire up that zoom account and learn from them. Sit down. Shut up. And listen as they impart their wisdom and experience.
Unfortunately no one was prepared for the Covid-Crisis. There wasn’t a leader that I’ve talked to that saw this coming and was totally, 100% prepared for a proper response.
But what this crisis did show was that many who thought they were leaders were really just pretenders. They aren’t leaders. They’re just managers.
If your organization hasn’t shifted its approach through this Covid-Crisis, then chances are you aren’t being led, you’re being managed. Managers work within predetermined systems and can handle things very well as long as the basic structures are not messed with. Managers are important but not all managers are leaders.
Leaders on the other hand, have the ability to not only manage existing systems but also shift, adjust, pivot and even create new systems to better serve those in their organization and beyond.
These insights are not originally mine. They come from an online conference where world renowned leadership speaker, John Maxwell, addressed the group on leading in crisis mode.
He really doubled down on the idea that leading through crisis will separate the true leaders from the positioned leaders or the mere leader-pretenders.
So here are some questions for all who are in a leadership role in any organization. How have you learned to pivot or shift during this time of crisis? What new things have you learned? How are you improving as a human and as a leader in the midst of the crisis?
If you can’t answer these questions or haven’t even thought of them, then perhaps you’ve hit your leadership ceiling and it’s time to hand the lead off to someone who can go where you are not capable of leading.