What’s in a Title? A leader that we call a CXO or VP by any other name would be as worthy

There is always a first time for everything, the challenges of leading people included. If you are in one such role, you would know that it looks a whole lot easier from the outside than in actuality.

In my experience, it takes time, effort, and importantly the right intent to build credibility as a leader.
More times than not, people are moved to leadership roles without being equipped for it.

It is never ever ‘been there done that’ or ‘one size fits all’!

There is plenty to learn from witnessing both good and bad, first and second-hand experience, just by being perceptive. And then there is – Google!

The key is acceptance and acknowledgment to self and then finding the help.
These four questions are my quick check of leaders – for self as well as when hiring leaders.

1. Are you working towards making yourself redundant in the next two years?
Why – Redundant is not a bad word here. It means that you have a plan – to create succession, making the organization and yourself future-ready. You are setting up yourself as well as your team for the next big role or opportunity. It also signifies that you will not keep doing the exact same thing in the exact same way year after year.

2. How many people have you developed and mentored to become leaders?
Why – This is an indication that you hire people better and smarter than you, and are not threatened by it. You nurture these super-talented people to become leaders by continuing to be their allies within and outside ‘this’ organization. You are a leader of leaders because you are, with one leader at a time, slowly making great leadership a commonplace. 

3. Do you have the courage to reinvent yourself?
Why – If not, in these dynamic times, you will drown in your own insecurities and inabilities, we are human after all. It will reflect in how badly you lead and treat your people, you will eventually become the bottleneck for growth and performance not only of your people but yourself too and in essence the organization.

4. Is ‘your team’ limited to the function/team you manage or does it extend to the organization as a whole?
Why – If you look at the organization as one team you are a leader, because you holistically understand your organization, the business, and importantly your people. Then you are not the one to create silos based on your actions, decisions, and behaviour, but you bring a high level of collaboration and camaraderie. You don’t play favorites or indulge in petty politics, or power play, because you have a bigger agenda.

However you fared in these questions, on the wrong side or not, the sooner you discover that it is the intent, not the title that makes you a leader, the sooner you will become a worthy one.

This is as good a time as any to construct the right intent and get the help you need. All you have to do is ask.

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