In my high school days I played football . I was blessed to be named a starter on my team and a captain. But what I noticed was that even the individuals that didn't start on the football team, what we called second string, still had to show up to practice. These individuals had to learn all the plays, run just as hard, and had to make all team meetings. Even though they were not starters, they had to prepare just like the starters.
During my time as a military soldier, I was taught to always operate two levels above my current rank. To think at the level I wanted to achieve, not at the level I was currently.
My philosophy on leadership is that everyone is a leader, the only question is what kind are you. When we talk about leaders, we always contrast it with talking about followers. The two terms become blurred because when you use the term follower, people assume they are not a leader. But everyone is a leader, and a part of being a great leader, is learning how to be a great follower.
I don't know if you are familiar with the professional football player Tom Brady or his story. Tom is a three time Super Bowl winner in the National Football League. The beginning of the story didn't seem like it would end like this for Tom. Tom wasn't drafted high and entered the league as a back-up Quarterback. When the starting Quarterback went down, Tom got his opportunity to start and has been the starting Quarterback for the New England Patriots ever since. Tom never saw himself as a back-up, but as a starter waiting for his opportunity.
The natural flow of order says someone has to have the lead position. This concept produces structure, focus and direction. Someone has to be in charge in other words. But that doesn't diminish any person's ability, skill or knowledge.
So since everyone is a leader, how do we get everyone to become ACTIVE LEADERS. I have a simple acronym I call T.A.S.K. When you create a T.A.S.K Environment, you will produce a winning environment and create ACTIVE LEADERS, because every team needs the second string to be ready to perform as a starter at the drop of a hat.
Train Your Team to Lead
Create a culture that communicates that everyone is a leader right where they are. That the expectation is for everyone to perform as a leader. Being a leader doesn't mean you make decisions in a vacuum, or act without accountability. Leaders always think and act with the team in mind.
Assess Each Team Member
I always say inspect what you expect. This means that each team member should know what is expected of them. It should be clearly defined and they should know that this is what there performance evaluation will be based upon.
Set Goals that Produce Better Results
Help team members set goals that stretch them and produce at a higher level. Give them goals that
allow them to make decisions as a front line leader. Teach them to look at situations with different eyes, to step out of themselves and look at situations from a bigger platform.
Keep Team Members Focused
What derails most people is that they lose focus. The best leaders are leaders that have learned to remain focused on the major goals, the most essential goals of the organization. When you are focused you can cut through all the unnecessary conflicts that may arise in most offices.
When you implement T.A.S.K into your leadership, you will produce followers that act as ACTIVE LEADERS.