No matter what position you hold in your company, you can be a leader. However, even among informal leaders, there are different levels of leadership.
Although they are all key to building a successful business, if you are an ambitious entrepreneur who has pledged his future to an idea, you should strive to reach the highest level – that of a true leader.
Here are the three levels of leadership and how you can reach the highest level in management.
First level – follower
This is the level of people who have very specific skills or knowledge. These are the people who do the job best. Followers are a vital component to the effective operation of any company. However, if you want to move to the next leadership level, you need to find a way to expand your role in the company and gain new knowledge and experience.
When I started my first entrepreneurial venture, I had to learn a lot about different aspects of business that I hadn’t even thought about before. I had engineering experience, but I had no idea how to do marketing, how the supply chain works, and how to build a relationship with my potential customers. Using my natural curiosity and ability to learn quickly, I was able to gain knowledge in various fields. To go beyond the first level, you need to leave your comfort zone and jump into unfamiliar areas of business.
Second level – manager
At this level are the people who have applied their extensive knowledge to enter the role of team leader. However, to become a true leader, you need to turn the people around you into leaders. It is a long training process in which you show your employees how to be self-sufficient and make decisions. When some of your subordinates are looking for you with a problem, ask them to offer you one or two solutions to the problem.
When you set such expectations, your employees will learn to be more independent and not be afraid to share their ideas. They will begin to answer the questions they have previously asked you to answer, and over time they will begin to take action on their own without constantly asking for your approval. This will allow you to focus on the bigger picture
Third level – a real leader
I do not believe that it is necessary to be acquainted in detail with the specifics of a business to become a leader in this field. Why? Because true leadership is about managing people, characters, and visions. You are no longer dependent on KPI, product, team, and project management. Your mission is to inspire, communicate and connect.
The main problem when you reach the top of leadership is how to stay at that level. To achieve this, you need to set clear boundaries that prevent you from returning to managing the day-to-day operations of a particular department or team. I solve this problem by never stopping to think about the bigger picture.
If you want to be a true leader, you need to stop thinking about the way things are done and start focusing on the mission of your business, what it embodies and how you want it to be perceived by others.