The Power of the Leader’s Calling

Goals and strategies are useful, but nothing trumps calling.

Leadership is the calling to bring your best self in service to others.

Define success in terms of personal excellence, not results. Achievements are less important than calling.

Grit, calling, and praise:

People with a calling don’t need a cheering crowd.

Traditional praise is like water off a duck’s back to people with a calling.

People with a calling never feel entitled – they feel compelled.

People who feel a calling work harder today than they did when they started.

Any praise that makes someone feel they’ve arrived is disservice to their potential.

People with a calling hear words of praise and keep on sweating. Tell a great musician they’re great and they know they aren’t all they could be.

Praise people for their hours of practice, not for the hour they played on stage.

5 ways to develop your most leaderly self:

Labor pains come before your best self emerges. 

#1. Define your best self in your own terms, not the terms of others. Your lasting contribution is deeply connected to your authentic self.

#2. Glance at where you’ve been. Stare at where you’re going.

#3. Three or four times a week, push yourself into discomfort.

Ease chokes your best self, but stress ignites growth. Think of a fitness trainer who yells, “Give me one more,” when you’ve expended your ‘best’ effort.

The time to ease up is tomorrow.

#4. Let yourself be incompetent. See competence in others. Everyone around you is better at something than you are.

We seldom grow with a spirit of ‘better than’.

I notice that growing leaders see competence all around them.

#5. Ignore shallow praise. Your best self hasn’t arrived. Your service is incomplete.

How do you define the leader’s calling?

How might leaders develop their best selves?