I want to tell you first, a little story about dating, and then about the Leadership Ladder, and how leaders aren’t born, they’re trained.
Now Kate, what does dating have to do with leadership? Stick with me on this one.
A friend of mine was telling me about something he’s realized recently about dating. He believed that when you go on dates it’s like a ladder. And so you move up the rungs of friendship and then further up the ladder after friendship comes a relationship. And so when you are wanting to move to a relationship, you just need to become a better friends and get to know them better, move up the ladder, and at the top of the ladder is relationship.
What he realized was over time he kept on getting to where he thought the top of the ladder was, but it wasn’t turning into a relationship. Can you guess what was happening at the top of the ladder?
He was getting friend zoned!
What he realized is “relationship” isn’t the top of the ladder. “Relationship” is a whole separate ladder.
And as this friend was explaining to me, when you jumped from one ladder to the other ladder, there is a risk. The risk is you might fall into the crevice of nothingness in between when you’re not on the friend ladder and you’re not on the relationship ladder. And that is a risk that you take from jumping from one ladder to the next. The benefit is you could land on the relationship ladder.
So that’s a nice story. What does it have to do with leadership?
People think that the more you go up the ladder of your job, the higher rungs are ‘leadership’. And that’s like thinking that the friendship ladder is going to turn into a relationship. This is where the analogy makes sense because technical specialists (being good at your job) and leadership are two different skills, they’re two different ladders.
Leadership is a whole separate skillset. Now one way that you can make the jump from technical specialist to leadership and land on the leadership ladder, and perhaps even land further up the leadership ladder, is by having training. So there are ways that you can learn leadership. I highly recommend having a look into some opportunities to learn how to lead, because it is a skillset.
So if you’re on the technical specialist ladder and you’re ready to leap to the leadership ladder, or perhaps you’ve made the leap and you’re got lost in between, or you’ve got to the leadership ladder, but feeling a little bit outside your depth. There might be two ways that I can help you.
One is one-on-one leadership coaching. Where I can actually help you figure out what type of leader you want to be, how that’s going to impact your team and how you can reach your goals. And the other is if you have a small business, and you’re wanting to step into a leadership role. I have a program coming up called Solo to CEO, which is all about growing your team, whether that is contractors, casuals, full-time part-time, whatever it looks like to you, but where you step into the leadership position, not the doing position.
I hope this has been helpful for you with understanding where you are on the leadership ladder and if you’re wanting to step from the specialist ladder to the leadership ladder.