This can bring comfort to the person passionate about adding value or leading change, but may bring terror or anxiety for those who have relied more on their title than their character.
1. Doing and thinking in light of the future.
If most of a leader’s activities concern the immediate present (1-3 months) they are not just not leading but also doing someone else’s job. Acquiring and developing new resources are the most tangible (and the ones that are hardest to pursue because not many people will notice and give you credit for doing something they do not even realize is important).
2. Calling lots of meetings.
A one hour meeting is not taking up one hour of time. It’s taking one hour MULTIPLIED by the number of people in the meeting. Meetings often generate new ideas that can distract from the plans, goals, and vision set at the beginning of the year.
I LOVED the way Caterina Fake, CEO of Hunch, Co-founder of Flickr ran her meetings: Each person drinks a large glass of water before the meeting starts, and the meeting is conducted with everyone standing up. The meeting stops when the first person has to pee. Isn’t that AWESOME!
3. Lots of People Asking Your Permission
If the majority of your team asks you for permission to do things that are part of their role then there may be more managing happening than leading. If it’s money, time off, or starting something new then it’s very appopriate; most other things would be a red flag.
4. Saying No a Lot
This one goes back to number one. If you know where you need to go then there are going to be multiple opportunities to say no every day. These “nos” often represent great vision casting opportunities since it affords you the opportunity to clarify the mission, vision, or values.