Don’t wait until you’re ready to take the leap to leadership!

woman courage leadershipHave you been preparing for a leadership role for several years? Are you waiting to feel comfortable to take the leap? Are you making excuses for staying where you are because you don’t “know enough” yet?

I have noticed a theme in my coaching conversations lately. The phrase “I want to feel comfortable with this decision” or “I want to feel ready before I go after that leadership role” has come up often with my clients, and I am genuinely curious about that desire to feel ready and comfortable.

When I reflect on my career, and now as an entrepreneur, I don’t remember a transition when I felt comfortable OR ready to take the leap. But I did it anyway. I don’t know what drove me to make those leaps other than a desire to do something new and yes, I like a challenge. I always felt in over my head and often spent the first few weeks or months asking myself “What have you gotten yourself into?”. And then I figured it out.

We are facing a leadership gap across all sectors, and the one I know well – the philanthropic sector – is bracing for one of the biggest gaps in our sector’s history. Let this be the call to you – we need YOU to step up. We need YOU to tap into your leadership potential and take the leap and grab the reins. I have worked with so many high performing people who will make incredible leaders yet, for some reason, they are holding back.

Here are my 3 lessons to help you know if you are waiting too long before you make the leap to a leadership role.

  1. You hear yourself saying “I don’t know enough yet” to take that leadership position. Here is what I want you to remember – in every position there is a learning curve and growth zone that you need to embrace. You can’t skip that part, it is inherent in the journey. Yes, you need to have some skills and experience to support this transition, but you also have room to learn when you get there! Trust that you can learn and grow AS a leader, while BEING a leader. Don’t wait until you’re ready.
  2. If you are comparing yourself to the leaders around you or the leaders you have experienced, then I want you to stop the comparison game. Learning from others – YES. Mentorship and Coaching – YES. Trying to be like someone else – NO. Absolutely not. Feeling comfortable in leadership is about finding YOUR way of leading. Alignment with your values, your strengths and your style as a leader. Stop comparing and start embracing what you have to offer as a leader. Don’t wait until you’re ready.
  3. If you notice yourself saying “I will know when I am ready” or “I just don’t feel ready yet” then I encourage you to get curious about your own resistance to making a change. Is fear playing a role? Are you afraid of making a change because you like being comfortable? I would bet that anyone who transitioned into leadership would tell you that it wasn’t comfortable at first, and then they settled in. Brené Brown says “You can choose courage or you can choose comfort. You cannot have both”. I say choose courage and go for it anyway. Don’t wait until you’re ready.

I hope these lessons serve you in some way and have caused you to reflect on your journey to leadership. I hold the belief that we are all capable of more than we give ourselves credit for, and my wish for you is that you will release the need to find comfort and instead embrace what’s possible with a little dose of courage.

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