The Wall Street Journal recently ran an article by Preston. Bottger and Jean-Louis Barsoux titled: “Do you really want to be a leader?” The authors suggest that the answer to their question will be clear after you answer three more questions.
How far do you want to go?
What are you willing to invest?
How will you keep at it?
Fair enough. But those questions presuppose that you know that you want to do leadership work and that you’re pretty sure you’ll be good at it.
There’s not much point in taking on a job unless you have some evidence that you’ll handle it well. If you’re an individual contributor thinking about pursuing a leadership career, here are some questions to use for self-assessment.
Do you like helping others succeed? If you don’t, leadership is a bad choice.
Can you make a decision? If you can’t, leadership is a bad choice.
Are you OK with having your success depend on your team? If you aren’t, leadership is a bad choice.
Are you willing to confront other people about behavior and performance? If you’re not, leadership is a bad choice.