How to Move any Leadership Aspiration to Reality

Aspiration is the beginning of leadership.

Clarify leadership’s 3 aspirations:

  1. Personal growth: Who do you aspire to become?
  2. Talent development: How will you develop yourself and others?
  3. Leadership achievement: What do you aspire to achieve?

Step toward reality by defining aspiration.

Becoming an aspirational leader:

#1. Choose learning.

Know-it-alls repeat the past because they do what they’ve always done.

Learning protects you from running in circles.

Constant learning stretches flat circles into upward spirals.

Tip: Rigorous self-reflection enables learning.

#2. Develop grateful dissatisfaction.

Accept where you are – realistic contentment expressed in gratitude. Reach for where you aren’t – discontent with the status quo.

Contentment that justifies apathy violates every aspect of leadership. Leaders are redundant if the present is acceptable.

Aspiration is the difference between healthy contentment and self-affirming apathy.

Aspirational leaders find courage to “not like” the status quo.

Grateful dissatisfaction is the secret to living with aspiration.

#3. Celebrate past success but don’t camp there.

Achievement is the enemy of aspiration when it creates satisfaction.

Commit to progress regardless of achievement.

Today’s question is, “How will we move the ball down the field?” Tomorrow’s question is the same, regardless of yesterday’s progress.

Aspiration focuses on where you’re going, not where you’ve been.

#4. Commit to bring value to others.

Leadership aspiration is about personal development that enables you to bring value to others. If you’re at the center of your aspiration, arrogance pollutes your perspective.

Lousy leaders focus exclusively on PERSONAL achievement.

Aspirational leaders commit to make the world better for others.

Self-centered leaders sacrifice the welfare of others for personal advantage. Evaluate your aspiration through the lens of service.

The difference between greed and aspiration is bringing value to others.

What are leadership’s aspirations?

How might leaders turn aspiration to reality?

Bonus material:

The Ideal Team Player Self-Assessment Exercise: (Table Group)

6 Strategies for Achieving any Aspiration (Psychcentral)