In my class at UC Berkeley and in my work working with my interns and coaching I see so many people who are hesitant to take on leadership roles not because they lack ability, but because they don’t see a path that works for them.
Exposing a reluctant leader to the people who are doing what they want to do is key in moving the needle off of reluctance. Cultivating role models and mentors that inspire you is time well spent.
To reluctant leaders, the word “leader” is too big of a mantle to carry. Since language matters, they often shy away from the word, and are more comfortable with terms like manager, supervisor or director.
Last night in my sublimental leadership class we talked about leaders actually being great teachers. Perhaps teacher is a word reluctant leaders can use to step out of their comfort zone because the best leaders are actually really good teachers.
Laying out a vision and detailing the steps to get there is no different than teaching calculus.
Moving a reluctant leader into a ready leader takes a shift in mindset. But as any psychologist will tell you, changing a belief system, especially one deeply entrained is hard. Fortunately, there are many models and frameworks for doing so. The first step is to begin.
Love and blessings.