How to Take Charge of Your Leadership Trajectory Today

Growth isn’t an accident. We grow on purpose or not at all.

You’re stuck if you can’t identify the leadership behavior you’re developing today. If you can’t describe it, it isn’t happening.

Take charge:

Short-sighted leaders are too concerned about being in charge of others. Take charge of your own development.

Developing your own leadership is tougher than helping others develop theirs.

Change trajectory by choosing a neglected leadership behavior to practice. After you choose, narrow your focus. Don’t change everything. Change one thing.

Daily nudges are better than weekly leaps.

Affirm character.

Take charge of your trajectory by rising  above ambiguous “Good job” affirmations, for example. Affirm character. Notice initiative, transparency, candor, or grit.

An affirming statement begins, “I noticed.”

  1. I notice that you’re committed to the best interest of your colleagues.
  2. I notice that you’re great at working on your own.
  3. I notice that you practice forward-facing curiosity.

Even higher:

Take affirmations to the next level by connecting them to business objectives. “I notice that you’re committed to the best interests of your colleagues. That’s going to serve you well when you challenge people to reach higher.”

Face discomfort:

Perhaps you’re uncomfortable affirming character. 

Discomfort with a leadership practice indicates it’s an important stretch for you.

It’s scary to shift mindsets.

You might be so controlled by negatives that the thought of looking for positives seems out of place.

We neglect things so long that they feel awkward when we re-engage with them. That’s the reason to lean in.

A little discomfort indicates growth. Sticking with comfortable behaviors indicates stagnation.

Affirmation walk-about:

Give yourself permission to walk around once a day affirming the character of your teammates.

Affirmations are elevators.

Focusing on what’s wrong is one reason there’s a dark cloud over your department. Circling problems is one reason they persist.

How might leaders take charge of their leadership trajectory?