How mature is your leadership?

“I want more responsibilities.”

How many employees come to you with that request?

Sometimes they are your high performers, other times your highly ambitious or well-intentioned managers.

You also are someone simmering with that desire if you are looking to grow… Opening a new location, joining a philanthropic board of directors, buying a 2nd or 3rd property, signing up for a mind fitness program (aka hiring a coach), having another kid, etc.

Saying and voicing out loud we want more responsibilities is great, but do we really know what we are actually asking for?

Here is a funny story:

Just this week, my step young adult/kid asked to get more responsibilities (YAY!). Feeding the cats in the morning was the specific request.

“Absolutely!” was my answer.

To add context, I feed the cats in the morning as soon as I get up. I also have to monitor them eating because they will sneak up on each other’s bowl. One has to eat prescription wet food and the other is allergic to it. AND, every cat owner knows the hungry cat stare…!

The next morning came, we all got up and I eventually asked:

“Are you feeding the cats?”

Step kid: “no, not this morning because of xyz.”

Me: “Ok.”

Then I went on and fed the cats.

The following morning came, we all got up and I eventually asked:

“When will you be feeding the cats this morning?”

Step kid: “I will start when I come back from my mom…”

Me: “face palm”

The coach in me wanted to ask: “What will be different when you come back from your mom that will have you feed the cats in the morning?” …but I shushed.

Then I went on and fed the cats.

As I was feeding them, it got me thinking… accountability is a funny thing. It does not mean that things get done, but it is a sure way to find out about the conditions to make it happen. If you noticed, I purposely asked a different question the 2nd day.

I also thought, how many times do we push our “responsibilities” for another day because “we are not feeling it today?”

Think about one of the leaders you admire the most in your industry. Imagine if that person woke up in the morning and said, “meh” I don’t feel like going to work today, then pulled the covers over her/his head and went back to sleep.

Now it happens to the best of us, we are human and live in a world of doing more, better and faster. However, a mature leader finds a way, takes inventory of what worked and what did not work about fulfilling or not fulfilling on their responsibilities and so on. And when they are struggling or can’t do it, they ask for support. I even see them asking for support BEFORE getting to the struggle points.

Taking more responsibilities is asking of ourselves to get up in the morning, embody our best to fulfill on them in spite of our mood(s), and ask for support when needed.

At the end of the day, reliability is a dimension of leadership maturity.

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