The Three Stages of Leadership

When Club Solutions asked me to pen some thoughts on leadership, I thought, “I can write all day about that.” Think about it: from the years of sports teams, to personal relationships, to professional experiences, to the thousands of articles, books, podcasts and blog posts read, to the numerous speakers on being a great leader — leadership should be a cinch, right? 

Unfortunately, it isn’t. In trying to write this column, I have come to further understand the complexity of writing 300 words about a topic that not only needs depth of experience, but a great writer to distill its complexity. 

So, with that caveat in mind, I offer you three stages of leadership I believe in, whether you’re leading your next new associate or your entire company:

1. Start by sharing, showcasing and consistently repeating your vision. Whether it’s at the start of a weekly meeting or your annual leadership summit, communicate where you are, where you’re going and why it matters.

2. Set an expectation: This is the more objective aspect of leadership. Know who and how you are leading, and help teammates understand exactly what they can do to exceed your expectations. This typically includes the tone, tasks and tenacity in which you want those tasks achieved.

3. Inspire commitment and passion: This is the toughest part of the leadership equation and it starts by being an example. Find a balance between caring, sharing and teaming up, along with disagreeing, failing and making hard decisions. When you ride the waves of the journey together, you will inspire the next level. 

Remember, being a leader isn’t just for “this group” or “that project” — it is in our every interaction. Sometimes we’re leading from the front, sometimes from the side, and sometimes from behind. 

Take 15 minutes today to consider how you are integrating these stages of leadership into your own style. That’s not just educating yourself further, but rather, how you are actually changing and modeling leadership with and for your team. 

Strive to impact those around you in a positive and meaningful way. After all, isn’t that what true leadership is all about?

JoAnna Masloski is the COO of Wellbridge.

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