Thoughts From the Coffee Table: Do you ever feel like a fish out of water?
I was just talking to someone (let’s call her Sara) who is struggling in her first leadership role. A few months ago she was a colleague. Now she is “the boss.”
Quoting one of my favorite leadership guru’s, John C. Maxwell in his book “How Successful People Lead,” he presents 5 levels of leadership. The first level is Position: People follow you because they have to.
Even though I write and speak on my own leadership strategies, I always recommend this book. When speaking, I often carry around one of my copies (I own 3) and show the notes, tabbed pages and highlights from the various points in my career where I read it with fresh eyes.
I had Sara read this book, and then I asked her what level she was at.
“I don’t think I am even to level 1. I have been trying so hard to be a friend that I haven’t even worked on being a leader. I feel like a fraud.”
I found a trail of Goldfish crackers yesterday. The symbolism was too great to pass up. We have all felt out of place. Unsure and uncertain. Like a fraud.
Sara’s honestly speaks volumes to her potential as a leader, and I told her as much.
We’ve all been there. She’ll get there. She’s ready to look in the mirror. Make adjustments. And start swimming.