Great leadership just doesn't happen; it's an inner core thing. So much of who we are is innate, instinctual, and inborn - we were born into a complex world and at nine months we learned how to navigate and did so powerfully.
Tapping in to and leveraging your natural talents and skills demands reminders, rituals and reflection. Being a great leader is a noble pursuit of thinking bigger, acting differently and producing results that matter.
As a leader, you have to find a way to disrupt the design of human beings because we automatically default and are addicted to comfort, familiarity and being right. Much like the components of cholesterol - there's the good stuff and the bad stuff and it is costly. Human beings have bright sides and dark sides and when we down shift, the bad tendencies, self-absorptive and insular ways have a way of invisibly invading.
Do you know when an invasion has occurred? Do you have practices in place to distinguish your bright side from your dark side? Do you know when you are being your best self? Do you know when your soulful leader is present from your toxic leader? Great leadership is constituted by three things: character, mindset and language.
Our character make-up as leaders looks and feels a bit different for each us and there are many qualities that define us such as excellence, diligence, honesty, compassion, curiosity, humor, creativity, integrity, consistency, reliability, trustworthy, etc. Ultimately, the courage to be vulnerable, to stand up for what you believe in, to do the right thing and to make difficult choices is our beacon. Tim Ferris notes in his Ted Talk when life is given by making easy choices, a hard life is often the outcome. Conversely, when we grapple with and make the hard choices, life is easy.
You have often heard me speak of a growth mindset. Framing setbacks, challenges and changes as learning opportunities offers the promise of growth and positivity.
Watch your words, they become actions and elicit the action of others. Notice how others respond to you. Are your words a match for the leader you wish to become. Be mindful to choose words that encourage exploration, appreciation, discovery, truthful examination, inclusion, creativity and great performance.
Thank you for embarking upon a brave journey that takes you into new realms, new places with new people evoking many emotions, questions, and choices.