mind your business: Are You a Reluctant Leader?
Do you know someone who prefers a job with no leadership dimension, even though they have what it takes to thrive as a leader? You're not alone. This is a common condition sometimes referred to as "Altitude Sickness." Not to be confused with the medical condition that occurs at high altitudes with low oxygen levels, this type of "Altitude Sickness" refers to the fear of success, or the fear of reaching great heights.
Take Jesika, for example, the leader of a department of engineers at a design and manufacturing company. To accommodate her growing organization, she needed to fill another supervisor position. With her current employees' long-term career paths in mind, she preferred to hire from within the organization. The problem? Aside from one candidate with a history of clashing with coworkers, no other employees had expressed interest in moving up. Jesika remembered that she only accepted her supervisor role after her boss convinced her that often, reluctant leaders are the best leaders. They lead from a desire to serve, not a desire for power.
Looking for this type of employee? The following are five signs to identify reluctant leaders:
1. They are sought out for counsel.
Most organizations have two kinds of leaders: those with leader in their title and those who are sought out by their peers for advice.
When looking for reluctant leaders, observe your teams. Who do team members respect? Who do they go to before bringing problems to the attention of management?
2. They are focused on team success, not individual glory.
Some employees are too busy focusing on their tasks to help out others. Reluctant leaders realize that it only takes one employee to fall behind for the team to suffer, and they are willing to either assist the other employee or direct them to someone who can.