Don’t promote insecure people.

Insecurity and positional power don’t mix well. But I see it all the time. Someone is placed in a position of authority and they use that authority to get work done. “I’m the boss so do as I say.” While you might get short-term results, if you aren’t secure enough to listen and value the opinions and approaches of others, you’ll get resistance, disengagement, or resignation.

One CEO told me she never promotes anyone until they’ve spent time leading people in a volunteer organization. “If you can’t influence people where you are without a title, then you haven’t yet earned the privilege of having a title.”
The late former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher said, “Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.”

Being a leader means:

  1. Being secure enough with yourself that you can admit you aren’t the smartest person in the room, you have something to learn from everyone, you can ask for help, and you sincerely open to learn and try other suggested methods.
  2. Listen and value opinions and approaches of others before sharing your experience and perspective.
  3. Make a decision and take a stand when you need to. Know when you’ve collaborated enough and that your decision isn’t necessarily going to make everyone happy.