When you walk into a leadership opportunity, you go with a little bit of equity by virtue of your position and the inevitable honeymoon period during which those you lead will let you get by with just a bit more than they will a decade later. But you have to be very careful with that equity. Every decision you make, and every risk you lead your organization to take will require an investment of some of your leadership equity (the trust people place in you).
Make good decisions and your equity will grow.
Make poor, costly decisions, you lose leadership equity and it’s nearly impossible to lead when you’re bankrupt of influence. So how do you handle the equity you have?
5 Ways to Steward Leadership Equity
1. Risk It, Don’t Horde It
Jesus Christ once told a parable about three investors. One of them buried his lent wealth instead of risking it – he got in big trouble! The two earned a return and were entrusted with greater opportunities.
You can’t walk by faith without taking risks. You can’t reach the summit of success without risking your current position.
2. Calculate, then Calculate Again
I used to apologize for making decisions slowly.
I don’t anymore because I remember my grandfather’s great carpentry wisdom, “Measure once, cut twice; measure twice, cut once.”
In our culture, we’re a little enamored with those who look powerful by making big, quick decisions with an air of confidence. But the fact, is, most of the best decisions that leaders make are calculated, evaluated, tested, and weighed in the balances before the final decision is made.
When you think you’ve thought of all the possible outcomes, think it through one more time.