Think You’re Cut Out for Leadership?

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Do you think that you’re cut out to be a leader? Take this fun quiz and find out!

 

Quiz: Which of the following is true?

 

    • Leaders should lead, and everyone else should follow.

 

    • Most people are afraid of change.

 

    • If I had enough money, then I could motivate everyone.

 

    • If I send an email or hand-written note to someone, speak to that person directly or in a group setting, then I’ve communicated my message.

 

    • Empowerment is different from authority.

 

 

Answers on a postcard to . . . That’s what we would have said when there was snail mail. As we’re fresh out of snails, we’ll give you the answers here.

 

So, how did you do? Think you passed?

 

The fact is that the statements are all false. Not a single one of them is true. Are you surprised? Let’s look at each of the statements in turn.

 

    • Why is it false? It’s widely believed that leaders should just do what leaders do, and that those who are designated as followers should fall into line and play their role. The truth is that if leaders truly lead that people will always follow them. That’s because they want to. That’s the key. If those you expect to follow don’t do so because they want to, then you’re not leading them; you’re threatening them. If you dispute this, then ask yourself this question? What would happen to them if they chose not to follow you? What is the worst thing that could happen to them? If it’s punitive in any way, then the fact that they follow you has nothing to do with leadership.

 

    • In this case the opposite is true. Most people are not afraid of change itself. They may not like it. They may even hate it. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are afraid of it. What they’re afraid of is not knowing what to do as a result of it. It’s the outcome that frightens them; the result, if you like. Why do you suppose that is? Usually, it’s because change is forced upon them without any guidance and little, if any, notice. Not only do they not know what to do, they don’t have any time to think about what they should do, and they don’t know who to ask. That can be terrifying for anyone if the change is big enough. If you help them to adjust to the changes, give them the time they need to do so – not the amount of time you “think” they need – and the guidance to make it happen, then you’ll remove much of the fear.

 

    • This statement was about motivation – every leader’s favorite topic. People aren’t motivated by money; not even salespeople. Those in sales are motivated by the chase – making the deal. The money is a temporary reward, but it’s not why they do it. It just funds their passion. Non-sales people aren’t motivated by money either. The things that get them excited about work are achievement, the opportunities to achieve, recognition for it, and the personal satisfaction that comes from all of those things. Everyone wants to feel good about him- or herself. Money reflects the worth that they feel the company has for them, but the effect is short-lived because they will almost immediately feel that they deserved every cent.

 

    • OK. Well, how about the fourth statement? This one surprises a lot of people. Telling isn’t communication. When you send an email, or a note, speak directly to someone, either alone or as part of a group presentation, your message is only going one way. Communication is always two-way. In fact, the evidence that it has occurred comes from the other person; not you. And it’s more than, “Yea. I saw it.” Or “I read it.” Or “I initialed it.” It’s only this: did that person do what you intended them to do as a result of receiving your message? That’s the criterion.

 

    • Maybe you did better on the fifth one. What’s the difference between empowerment and authority? There’s no difference. The word “empower” means to “give power.” When you give power, you give authority. They are one and the same. If you don’t have the authority to make decisions, then you have no power. And the power that you give – the authority – has to be commensurate with the level in which you want people to feel it. In other words, it can’t be when to take a break for coffee. Teenagers working in a fast food restaurant get that, if they’re just a little bit flexible.

 

 

Have you added up your score? This quiz is pass/fail. You have to get all of them right to pass. So now that you know the answers, go back and take the quiz again, and see how you do.

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