Introduction
Leading people is a stimulating and
rewarding experience, never dull or
boring, and constantly changing from
day to day. Becoming a leader repre-
sents a great opportunity for you, but it also presents many challenges. The
content of this book will prepare you to face those challenges with confi-
dence.
A realistic view of leadership is painted here, because making it as a leader
will not be easy. But you can and will do it, if you are prepared to work hard
at developing your potential to lead. Is it worth all the effort? Ask any suc-
cessful leader and they will tell you there is nothing else in the world they
would rather be doing. So the challenges ahead might be significant, but so
too are the rewards.
You may already know the start date for your step up into leadership, or
you might simply be considering it as an option for the future. In either
case you are looking for support. If your move is imminent, then the topics
covered here will prepare you to hit the ground running. If you are still
unsure if leading others is right for you, then this book will help you to
make that decision. Wherever you are on your journey, you will find lots of
guidance as you get ready to lead.
As you look to the future, keep two important points in mind:
1 Don’t underestimate this step you are taking
Many experienced leaders look back at their first leadership position as
having been the most challenging, from the point of view of coping
1
‘‘
Leading people is a
stimulating and rewarding
experience.
’’
READ_A02.QXP 1/10/07 12:00 Page 1
with the many changes it brings. It’s a big step – get it wrong and your
future as a leader could end very quickly – so give it the time and atten-
tion it deserves.
2 Don’t overestimate it so much that it starts to intimidate you
Some first-time leaders allow themselves to become overawed by what
lies ahead. Remember, you are not being asked to fly the space shuttle
to the moon, so keep things in perspective. With proper preparation,
willingness to change and consistent effort on your part, you can make
it and you will look back in the years ahead and wonder what all the
fuss was about.
That word ‘preparation’ is the key though. If you fail to prepare, then you
prepare to fail as the old saying goes, and in relation to your potential to
lead, this rings particularly true. But where do you start when faced with
such an array of characteristics, skills and techniques that must be mas-
tered over time? There is indeed much to learn and plenty to do, so it is
best to break the task down into more manageable bites. To provide focus
and direction for your efforts, we will use a leadership framework com-
prising six stepping stones.
READY TO LEAD?
2
Leadership
Mindset
Leadership
Profile
Core
Leadership
Skills
Teambuilding
Challenges
Setting
Personal
Goals
Making an
Impact
Do you think
like a leader?
Do you have
what it takes to
act like a leader?
Do you have the
right skills to lead?
Do you know how
to build a team?
Are you ready
to lead?
Can you lead
in practice?
Part 1 Part 6
Part 5Part 4Part 3
Part 2
These stepping stones combine to give you a good head-start as a leader
and they form the main parts of this book:
Part 1 Leadership Mindset focuses on enhancing your understanding of leader-
ship and the leader’s role and explains why you should seek to lead, not
manage. Here you will address the important question: Do I think like a leader?
Part 2 – Leadership Profile explores the personal qualities you will need to
make it as a leader and encourages you to ask yourself: Do I have what it
takes to act like a leader?
Part 3 – Core Leadership Skills highlights the core skills necessary to be an effec-
tive leader and requires you to consider: Do I have the right skills to lead?
READ_A02.QXP 1/10/07 12:00 Page 2

Get Ready To Lead? now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.