Leadership is Not About You

Anthony Demangone, Esq., NCCO, SVP/COO, NAFCUby: Anthony Demangone, Esq., NCCO, SVP/COO, NAFCU

You are a smart person. You’ve been promoted. You’ve made good decisions. You are going places.

But be careful. The very thing that caused your success might now hold you back.

And that would be you.

As I read books and articles on leadership, and as I interact with my talented colleagues at NAFCU, one huge trend has emerged. Good leaders think of others first. They think of the organization first. They ignore silos. They don’t play favorites.

In other words, to be a greater leader, you must remove “you” from the equation.

Marshall Goldsmith’s famous list of 20 dangerous habits hammers this thought home. In fact, of the 20 habits, nearly all of them revolve around…you. You have to add too much value. You have to deflect blame to others. You take credit for yourself. You let folks know why their ideas won’t work. I could go on.

Dan Rockwell (the Leadership Freak) argues that leadership is nothing more than service. As he so eloquently puts it…”Servant-leaders get ahead by helping others get ahead. It doesn’t take brains or talent to obscure the simple, complicate the clear, and forget the essential. You are here for one reason, serving.”

John Spence talks about this idea when he speaks of “False Courage.”

“Admit that you’re not Superman or Superwoman and you can’t do it all. Admit that you are confused, in over your head, overwhelmed or that you might even be… wrong. Admit that the most important thing right now is to think long-term, work together and fix things – not to be “courageous” in the defense of your position and proving that you are “right.” Throw the positions out the window and work for progress. Dump the false pride and get to work on solutions.”

This whole issue is something I struggle with. It is hard to remove personal biases, inclinations and preferences. But the more you can focus on the needs of your boss, your board, your colleagues, your credit union and your members, the better off you will be.

Please consider joining Anthony and others at NAFCU’s Management Development Institute this November 12-16, in Durham, N.C. John Spence will lead a day-long workshop on strategic leadership.  Plus, if you register by Friday, September 14, you will save $100 off your enrollment. And If you haven’t already, consider subscribing to Anthony’s Musings from the CU Suite Blog. It is free, useful and often entertaining. And Anthony won’t share your email address. On Facebook? Consider becoming a “Musings” fan!  www.nafcu.com

Anthony Demangone

Anthony Demangone

Anthony Demangone is executive vice president and chief operating officer at the National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU). Demangone oversees day-to-day operations and manages the association’s education, membership, ... Web: https://www.cuinsight.com/partner/nafcu Details