Are You A Leader or Doer?

September 12th, 2016
Author: Kathy Heasley

I read recently that there is some correlation between being a leader and being the one that everyone counts on to get stuff done. In other words, let’s let the leader do it. Well if you find yourself in this position you’re branding yourself not as a leader but as a doer, and there is a very big difference.

In a business environment where you still have to get work done, walking the doer/leader personal brand balance is a delicate slope. The last thing you want to be perceived as is a person who is above it all. That’s not a good personal brand position at all. But you don’t want to be perceived as a control freak a workhorse either. So what do you do?

Let me share some habits that some of the best leaders I know have shared with me:

Instead of providing answers, ask questions – leaders get stuff done by engaging others. Not demanding them to do it but giving them ownership by allowing them to find solutions and guide them along the way.

  1. Allow time for learning – simple rule is if you didn’t hire expertise then you will need to allow time to train and develop it. So avoid the pitfall of “I’ll just do it.” No one learns, you lose out on leveraging your team, and your personal brand shifts to doer.
  2. Encourage peer-to-peer learning – the way to learn is to teach so encourage those around you to teach each other. The more senior team members know more that they often think. They only realize it when they teach someone else. This puts you in the leader zone in a big way.
  3. Get out of the office – you’ll be surprised how much your team will figure out when you’re not around. They have to. There’s no going into your office for answers. When you return to the office, check in and get the run down. If there’s an opportunity to correct, then impart your wisdom, don’t redo the work.

Positioning yourself as a leader takes relinquishing your ego and trusting in your team. It takes delegating and following up, not acquiescing. There is a difference. Give it a shot. It’s the only way you will grow as a brand both corporately and personally.