Leaders: Is Your Hat Teachable?

Wearing Many Hats

We all wear many hats whether we are on our jobs, at home, or participating in extracurricular activities.  Some of us wear one or two hats, while others of us wear multiple hats.

Then, there are those unique situations that will cause us to flip from hat to hat several times in one day.

“Some examples of my hats consist of Parent, Business Partner, President of Alumni Board, and more…..”

A Hat for Every Head

Work Hats, Learning to Lead Hats, & Leading Hats

Most everyone wears a work hat, but what kind of hat do you wear when you work. What is the nature of your work? Some hats are labor intensive, some are foreman hats, and others are organizational hats.  When it comes to working, leading or learning to lead, does it matter where you are in the hierarchy when it comes to wearing a leader hat? No!

You can wear a lead hat and learning to lead hat from anywhere in the company. Even if you are at the bottom or in the middle:

“You can still wear a learning-to-lead-hat and a leader hat; it’s all about attitude not position,”

The 360 Degree Leader

According to John C. Maxwell (2005) on The 360 Leader, he writes that you can lead from your position in the company, where ever that position may be. You can make a difference even if you report to someone who is not a good leader. What does this mean?

“It means you can lead up, down, and all around.”

All you need is:

  • A good attitude
  • To be teachable
  • A good rapport with people
  • Initiative
  • Influence
  • Desire for change
  • To be available
  • Aspiration
  • Determination

Having a good attitude and being teachable is critical to your success when wearing a leader hat. Developing the initiative to build relationships with everyone can guide you towards directions you may have never thought possible.

Persuading yourself and others to embrace change and being available for those who need you throughout those transitions will allow others to see your hat at face value.

“It’s this face value that others will remember and that will fuel your aspirations and determination to lead from where ever you are in the company”.

Team Hat(s)

How Your Hat is Ranked by the Team and Others?

Too Many Hats?Leader hats must drive future success, and are responsible to get the most out of their teams. Does it matter if your team is an advisory or governing team? No! What matters is that every individual is linked and committed to the team’s common purpose.

“How you see yourself and how you are seen in the eyes of others are sometimes two very different views”?

According to William Stepanek from Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, your teams and others are judging you every day. According to Kouzes and Posner, (2002) on The Leadership Challenge, they expect you to walk-the-walk and talk-the-talk.

With this said, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you consistent
  • Do you capture the imagination of others
  • Are you innovative
  • Do you enable others to act
  • Do you inspire passion in others

How you communicate to others is critical to your success. This may require you to wear many hats. Wearing many hats is a fundamental aspect of leaders. Focusing on the mission everyday and making the environment collaboration eliminates unnecessary questions pertaining to the objectives at hand.  By exhibiting competence you not only build team confidence, you are better able to manage daily priorities and performance issues.

How Many Hats?

What Are The Challenges to Wearing Too Many Hats?

Are there challenges to wearing too many hats, it depends. It depends on the situation. One lesson I learned is not to wear two different hats to one meeting. It may be seen as a conflict of interest.

Even if your intentions are for the greater good of the company or organization, your unintentional conflict of interest may not be received well by all. It doesn’t matter that your honesty, integrity, and your word are in direct alignment with the mission, vision, and common purpose of the group, it may still be seen as a conflict of interest.

Take a Good Look at Your Hats

How many hats do you wear? Do you find yourself flipping from hat to hat several times during the day? How are you seen in the eyes of others? What challenges if any have you faced from wearing too many hats? I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences on the hats that you wear!


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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

Debra Olejownik is a consultant with DJC Core Consulting & Support Services, LLC
She helps clients identify comprehensive solutions to problems that inspires change
Email |  LinkedIn | Web

Image Sources:  filmscoreclicktrack.com, media.photobucket.com


One response to “Leaders: Is Your Hat Teachable?

  1. Pingback: Leaders: Is Your Hat Teachable? | DJC Fundamentals Blog·

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