“Are you proving your worth as a leader?” If that question doesn’t give you pause, read it again.
“Are you proving your worth as a leader?”
It has a flawed supposition: that your worth is determined by your role.
I know this goes against everything you’ve been conditioned to believe, but there is nothing you need to prove. You matter because you exist. Period.
And if you’ve found yourself saying things like, “I need to add value” or being told, “You need to add value,” beware. These statements are a set up to make your results at work a replacement for you as a person. Even more concerning, these ideas take leaders away from their true work: contributing to the development of those around them.
Given how the “prove your value” statement is meant to throw you into a panic — Don’t’ just sit there, do something! — It’s easy to see how leaders lose sight of this critical part of their job.
But being in a leadership role while focused on your individual contributions is a short game at best and a disaster for teams at worst.
Once you move from being an individual contributor to leading a team of people, the way you contribute to a company will look completely different, as it should.
The energy you put into gathering others around a shared goal is entirely different than the energy needed to show up and do your own individual part.
In other words, understanding the motivations of a team of people and how to align that with the work that must be done is completely different than knowing that today is your day to design the next web page.
And structuring strategies with the vision in mind is totally different than meeting with individual clients and closing the next big account.
Leaders who recognize that who they are as a person isn’t tied to their title do well. Leaders who recognize that their role is actually about developing others and allowing them to succeed do even better – no fanfare needed.