Jeffrey Inscho

October 8, 2021

My Leadership Manifesto

At work, my team is growing. We started as a small and scrappy CX team, but the company is placing more trust in us to positively impact the business, and we find ourselves needing to operate with efficiency and speed at an enterprise scale. In order to do that, I've been building up the team to increase our capacity. 

In recent weeks I've found myself reviewing more resumes and interviewing more potential candidates for important roles on our Customer Product team. Transitioning from a team of one, to a team of 4 and eventually a team of 10+ has prompted me to analyze my leadership qualities and interrogate my approach. I want to ensure I'm serving my team's needs and growth appropriately.

A key question I've been meditating on: Are you a manager, or are you a leader?

In my mind, there is a big difference. I think it's important for people in leadership positions to maintain a level of self-awareness and transparency. So in that spirit, here is my leadership manifesto:

  • All leaders can manage effectively, but not all managers can lead effectively.
  • Being a leader doesn't come with a job title. Anyone can lead, regardless of rank.
  • A leader must earn the trust of the team. Not the other way around.
  • Leadership is an act of radical empathy.
  • A leader empowers the team to own decisions and the outcomes from those decisions.
  • A leader should protect the team at all costs and serve as its bullshit deflector.
  • Leadership is a lot like parenting: Cultivate growth and independence, be present for support, and ultimately help members of the team achieve new heights.
  • A leader does not create followers. A leader creates more leaders.

This is the lens through which I'm approaching my new leadership role. I'm curious what leadership means to you. Is there a leadership ethos that guides you?