On: Leadership Gaslighting
I don't have to write this post, and at the end, I will tell you why.
Why am I writing it even though I don't have to? Because I told myself if I saw another post about leadership that didn't address this topic that I was going to freak out, and that is one reason to own a blog; to give you a place to freak out.
The thrust of my argument is the following. If you are asking someone to be a leader, you should reward them for it.
I see so many posts detailing how you do not have to be in management to be a leader. This is totally true! Leaders can exist at every level of an organization.
But if you are leaving out the crucial step of rewarding those employees who take on leadership characteristics, you are doing it wrong. Even a different title with a very small raise is better than nothing.
They want this on their resume and they are correct for wanting it. How many of you actually call references, or past employers? If someone says "I was a leader, believe me" is that going to be enough to get them a diagonal or vertical climb up to their next title?
I don't think so.
I build teams, not families. We pay our team members money to come to work. Some team members do not want to be leaders, and that is okay. Some team members have aspirations to become a manager or join the leadership team, and that is okay, too. They both deserve growth in their positions as they progress through their career. Those two paths look different, but they are both valid.
If someone is going to do extra work at any capacity. Whether it is putting out exceptional work as a specialist, or acting like a leader to rally the troops, give advice to their coworkers, and make high-level decisions in a pinch; you should pay them for that work.
If you agree with me, don't talk about leadership without including this fact. Don't share a post on social about how anyone can be a leader without including this fact. Don't take advantage of your employees by asking them to do extra work and not rewarding them for it.
So why did I not have to write this post? Because I already operate this way. If you don't, you will lose. You can learn this and retain your best performers, or you can ignore it and watch talented people leave your organization one by one.
It's up to you.
But if you guys keep posting about it, I'm going to keep sharing this blog.