When I started my journey in the leadership blogging space nearly 5 years ago, I focused a large amount of mental attention on the skills I thought I should have.
At one point, I remember driving past our local Wendy’s restaurant and wondering if I should apply for a management position, just so that I could acquire the skills of a leader. I made myself crazy thinking that learning skills while gaining experience with a title attached would make me a leader.
It turns out, skills ARE important. As a leader, I am constantly looking to upgrade my skills. Communication skills and delegating skills are two I find particularly helpful, and ones I’d like to continually improve— yesterday, if possible.
Miller outlines 5 areas of leadership character, each challenging in its own way: hunger for wisdom, expect the best, accept responsibility, respond with courage, and think others first.
Today, the one that is resonating with me most is this one: accept responsibility.
Accepting responsibility means owning both tasks and results. It means that when things go wrong, the only finger pointing is the one that points back at me. I must ultimately take responsibility when things go wrong.
When the website crashes and we don’t have a proper backup, I own that, and I do what’s needed to make it right.
When a credit card error means a client’s email subscriptions didn’t send for a week, I own that.
When both of those combine to mean that a week’s worth of blog posts are lost and must be recreated, I own that.
Being a leader means no excuses. Being a leader means accepting responsibility.
Tell me something! Which of these 5 challenges you most today? What skills are you seeking to develop as a leader? What leadership character traits do you most hope to develop?