In 1998 all the rage was high waisted Levis, big shirts and Aerosmith with “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing”. The top movies were American History X, Saving Private Ryan and There’s Something About Mary. The internet was still mostly a toddler, but one company was the stock to own…Yahoo!

Flash forward 13 years and Yahoo! has unfortunately morphed itself into Ya-Who? What they have to offer just doesn’t seem of interest to much of anyone. Many of their attempts over the past 4 or 5 years have been shadowy and embarrassing attempts at replicating the success of others. They haven’t done much with their identity besides causing people to wonder what it is they do. Their search function isn’t all that great. RSS and blog readers have aggregated news. Does anyone REALLY care about horoscopes? Would you date someone from a search engine? Yeah…me either. Why is it when you visit their page it still has this creepy feeling like some Geocities site from back in the day?

Their identity and brand is just not happening. Is your leadership suffering the same demise?

Are you developing in step with the needs of those you’re leading or are you trying to hang on to what got you into a place of leadership a few years ago? It’s so easy to be emotionally attached to the combination of factors that brought you to a place of leadership, but if you’re not serving the needs of those you’re leading then you’re not exactly leading. You are becoming a Ya-Who?

Here are some tips to stay on top of your leadership game:

  • Don’t make it about you – If it’s not all about you, then changing isn’t really an issue that becomes a struggle. The more it is about others, the easier it will be to adapt to their needs. People will come and go in your world and being able to respond to who they are instead of getting them on board with who you are will be much easier.
  • Lose the emotional investment – ALWAYS be passionate about leadership, but don’t be so emotionally invested in being a leader that it makes you overly sensitive when it is challenged. Some of the best ideas come from a dissenting voice. Don’t let that pass you by because of ego.
  • Ask questions – People are happy to tell you what they need, want and expect. All you have to do is listen. Listening to people doesn’t mean you’re magically obligated to fulfill their request. It means you respect them enough to listen and honestly consider the validity of their opinions and suggestions.
  • Never believe you’ve “arrived” – Life and leadership is a journey and the moment you stop, you begin moving backwards. Once you settle your mind on the idea that you have “made it” in leadership, you are primed to fall on your face. As a leader, you are taking a journey with people and that will only stop when one of two things happen: You step out of leadership or you die.

What are some other ways that you believe are a good way to not let your leadership turn into a Ya-Who?