10 Ways to Seize Leadership’s Greatest Opportunity
Life feels empty when you feel you could be more.
Leadership’s greatest opportunity is maximizing potential.
7 ways to be less than you could be:
- Think, “They need to change.”
- Ignore feedback because, “They don’t understand.”
- Justify weaknesses by saying, “That’s just the way I am.”
- Over-value your good qualities. Under-value hard work.
- Need the approval of others.
- Stay busy doing busywork.
- Wait for opportunity to come to you.
Drifters always land on the rocks.
10 ways to seize leadership’s greatest opportunity:
You’re greatest responsibility is to give your best self in service to others. Indulgence ends in emptiness.
- Release yourself for more by delegating easy tasks. Fools cling to familiarity and ease. What’s easy for you is challenging to others. Help others do what you do well. One way to develop yourself is to develop others.
- Explore the irritating behaviors of others. Irritations are often mirrors. How are you like the people you don’t like? Loud voices irritate me.
- Spend more time reflecting on your performance and less on others. When your performance improves, the people around you improve.
- Challenge yourself. You stop growing when you stop taking on new challenges.
- Evaluate your performance mercilessly. Nitpick little things. Chances are the little things are bigger than you believe.
- Make a difference right now. This whole “change the world thing,” often becomes an excuse to neglect small opportunities.
- Record daily insights and observations. Keep a notebook handy and write things down. When you hear something curious or surprising, explore it.
- Swim against the current. Doing what everyone else does obscures your potential.
- Think better not perfect. How might you be a better listener today, for example?
- Pursue relationships with people who are better than you.
What might you do to maximize your potential today?
Why do leaders fall below their potential?
Dan, nice reminder about life. On reflection I find myself “thinking they need to change” as I wait for “the approval of others” as an excuse why I haven’t done something. An interesting balance between following the directions / approval of your manager (which may be non existent) and getting in with things you know need to be done.
It’s easy enough to blame others when things aren’t happening as they should but you also need to look at yourself in the mirror to see what part you have played in it. Could you have done something more to help everyone achieve success?
Nice blog and reminder.
Thanks Rob. Remind me of the “wait for approval” concept is a real kick in the pants. Thank you, I think. 😉
5 & 6 on the first list hit a little too close to home for me. But since I was laid off this summer, and am now just starting my 5th week with my new company, I don’t have much busywork and no one knows me well enough to know I need validation, so the fresh start is helping in a lot of ways.
Thanks Java. Props to you for candor and transparency and Congratulations on earning a new job. Best wishes.
Why do leaders fall below their potential?
In my experience it is when they let the whirlwind of life, politics and business to distract them from the long game. Especially in times of stress and efficiency focus.
All leaders need a reminder from time to time to step out of the weeds, climb onto the balcony, and check the bearings. Without a leader checking this the whole ship can run aground, even if it is lean, efficient and effective.
Thanks Rob. Nicely said. When we lose sight of the long game we start wandering. Wandering isn’t the best strategy for getting to a great place.
The only thing that I would add to the first list is “Scatter JOY, not negativity.” A leader sets the tone for all of the team. Concern about the future is one thing, but a continuous undertone of fear of the future or not achieving the desired results creates a shroud of doubt that demoralizes co-workers.
The hardest challenge is how to change that mindset.
Thanks Kass. Great add. I like to say that if we don’t like the environment we live in, we have no one to blame but ourselves. It kicks me in the pants. I can’t blame others if I’m not working to build a joyful environment where ever I show up.
I agree 100% about evaluation of yourself. I also encourage twice a year 360 evaluations from not only peers but also all employees at all levels. They will give you many items you can choose from to improve. Keep an open mind because some will hurt!!
Thanks Doug. Twice a year 360’s. Now that takes courage. But, few things are more valuable than feedback on the path of leadership development. Personally, the thing that changes me most is great feedback.
Sounds like you were listening in on a coaching conversation yesterday – great article – will be sharing this for sure.
Thanks Perspect. It’s great to align with smart people.
Love number six. Read a book this year that pointed out that we always offer to help by telling people, “If you need something don’t hesitate to call me.” The author suggested that instead of saying that, find something that will help and do it! Since reading that, I am trying to change this behavior.
Thanks Vicki. The idea of “do it” vs “say it” is so powerful. The great comments just keep rolling in.
I love these! Have you considered making posters? You would have at least one customer.