If Kirk could go back in time and talk to his younger self as a new leader, he would spend more time in self-reflection coupled with self-awareness. He does it weekly now. But he did it very sporadically back then.
Leaders should slow down to observe how many people are watching them on the way they behave and lead. Specifically when things aren't going well. That's when people are looking at leaders to lead.
Don't wait for a relationship until you need it. Be confident in your abilities. Be empathetic. Be decisive.
Being decisive comes with time and it's called intuition.
As you grow in your leadership roles, you all want to make fact-based decisions. But in many cases, there's going to be some mixture of intuition based on the skills and where you've been in your life and career.
If you are not experienced enough to be able to incorporate intuition into your decision-making because you're early on in your leadership role, it's okay to make mistakes as long as you learn from them. You just have to monitor your progress and react quickly if you see it going the wrong way so that you can adjust.
Kirk's CEO at the previous company making the transition from managed services to SaaS had this kind of environment where it's okay to make decisions and make mistakes.
You could see the relief on the team as people knew it was okay to make decisions. The fact that they knew that was there and they could maneuver through created a much better culture.
However, even inside those environments, sometimes it's still hard to be vulnerable because you will still be making a mistake. Even though somebody else said to make a mistake, it can still be a little bit of a challenge.
You can overcome the challenge with the right mindset.
Leadership is like golf and poker. You can never perfect it. But you can always get better. You think about the best golfers and the best poker players, they lose more than they win. But they win more than anyone else. They grow by looking at the lessons that they learned and the experiences they've been through.