Leaders aren’t born, they emerge

You have spent years training for the technical part of your job. That time was probably spent in some combination of advanced education, on the job training, corporate training and development, certifications, and collegial mentoring. Maybe you have pored over industry news, compliance circulars, and other technical memoranda. You are a professional. Good work! Over time, all of that good work has resulted in a promotion. Congratulations! You are earning more money and you have a team. Don’t let the smile fade as I say this but understand that your promotion is actually a fork in the road. Go left and remain comfortable. You continue to approach your work as you always have, but with more people. This might feel good, but won’t really work. Go right and become uncomfortable. The people that go right start to understand that what got them here won’t continue to move them forward. That’s because the job of a leader is less technical and more people and process. All that heady learning you did that prepared you for this moment won’t get you beyond this moment. Time to get back into learning mode. Leaders aren’t born, they emerge as a byproduct of disciplined learning, failure, and adaptation.

by Jonathan Wilson

Jonathan is the Head Coach at Sandcastle Company, a Seattle-based leadership training organization. His first book, Future Leader: Rebooting Leadership to Win the Millennial and Tech Future [link], is now available. Jonathan regularly writes and speaks about The New Leader Way, leadership resilience, and the future of work. He has years of leadership experience in both the public and private sectors, a master's degree from Seattle University, and professional coach training from the University of Miami.

Filed under: Leadership

Published on November 21, 2018

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