Leadership: It’s a Journey, Not A DestinationMay 17, 2022
In our Monday Motivation this week, we talked about how success is an ongoing process and not a singular event. Similarly, Leadership is a journey and not a destination and everyone who is a leader is on one. The key is to do periodic check-ins with yourself to honestly assess how your journey is going.
So, I ask each of you, how’s your journey going?
In my Intentional Leadership class, I talk about the four critical components of being an intentional leader and they are truly the elements that are required to make sure you are staying the course of your personal leadership journey. Let’s examine a few.
- How’s your mindset? Are you mindful of your daily thoughts? Are you paying attention to the media you are consuming? Is it positive? Negative? Is it growing you or not? Mindset is a key to how your journey will evolve. I talk a lot about mindset because I know how bad mine was at one point in my career and how it impacted my own leadership journey. Remember, mindset creates your paradigm of how you see the world, which in turn creates thoughts that lead to actions. If you have a negative mindset, you will naturally create a negative paradigm, thoughts, and actions. So, check-in on where you are from time to time.
- Emotional Intelligence: Of all of the layers of a leader that are discussed by some of the top experts, all agree that emotional intelligence is not only the most important to cultivate, but it’s also the easiest to improve IF you are honest about your own shortcomings. Read more about this in Daniel Goleman’s Primal Leadership. Take any of the free online assessments and see where you are strong and where you may need to improve. Maybe you are great at self-awareness, but need to work on your empathy of others or your situational awareness. Knowing yourself is the beginning to true growth as a leader.
- Self-reflection: I talk about this a lot. I do this a lot. In fact, just because I no longer leader a several-hundred-plus organization, I lead daily as an instructor, a father, a grandfather, a CEO. I’ve learned how important it is to journal your honest assessment of how things went. Whether it’s how an interaction went with a colleague, to how you led a group session within your organization, really take the time to reflect on what went well and what could go better next time.
- Self-healing: Once you’ve reflected, you have to find what works for you to self-heal. Remember, as leaders, the higher you go within the organization, the fewer people there are to whom you can seek advice or mentoring. While I always encourage mentors, there will be times that you have to find what will reset your leadership and “heal” you from a bad day, a bad experience, or a difficult encounter with another. Those leaders who find the inspiration or technique that works best for them, will progress quickly on their leadership journey.
In closing, I’ve found that journaling is the key to effectively managing your leadership journey. If it isn’t written down, it won’t be remembered, and it won’t be accomplished. It’s as simple as that. Also, your experiences as a leader may be even more beneficial to those you lead in the future to understand how you handled difficult situation and how you could have done better. Their ability to learn from your scars becomes an invaluable tool and perhaps the greatest gift you can give the next generation of leaders.
When we think of great leaders: Churchill, Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Thatcher, we know so much about their leadership challenges and learn from their successes and failures because they had the foresight to write it down.
Remember, you are paying rent everyday as a leader – that rent is quality of the leaders you leave behind once you move on to another position or decide to retire.
Have a great rest of the week!
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