For many of us, those three words put an iconic song in our heads that will hang around for at least a week. Michael Jackson’s 1979 single “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” is as catchy today as it was when it was released over four decades ago (even as I type this…it seems inconceivable that both the song and I can be that old). I digress.
Leadership is a privilege to be sure. We know this. But when are you done? When does your team reach the point where they’ve been coached and led enough? Whether you’ve been leading for years or you’re brand new to leadership and wondering what it takes to be a leader, the thing is…you can never stop.
Leadership takes consistency.
Simon Sinek draws on the analogy of working out. We can’t exercise for nine hours and see results. We must keep at it and trust the process. We all work in the financial services game. Leadership is like teaching borrowers about how to improve and maintain a good credit rating.
You don’t get an exceptional credit rating by having one trade line on your credit report. It takes time and consistent effort and behavior over time to attain the best rating. One hiccup can break the trendline.
Leadership takes discipline.
I once read that investors are always searching for good ideas, when what they need are good habits. Only procedures that you repeat and follow until they become automatic will enable you to invest steadily over the long run. The same applies to leadership. It takes extraordinary discipline to show up every single day and lead people in the right way.
You mean well, but you have a multitude of tasks to complete as well, your personal life demands your time and attention, and it’s difficult to balance it all. This is a reality and part of what it takes to be a leader.
The best leaders don't stop.
But we must be intentional as leaders. We must continue to train to have the right mindset. People need to see you and hear from you all the time. As Patrick Lencioni says, all leaders must add a new title to their daily roles: the CRO, or Chief Reminding Officer.
Check in with your team all the time, encourage them, tell them how they are making a positive difference in what your organization is achieving, and remind them of what’s important—all the time. In reality? This is what it takes to be a leader. It’s not patronizing. It’s clarity, and it's leadership. Don’t stop ‘til….