People have all kinds of leadership goals. Some want to be the CEO of a big company, some want more responsibility within their community groups, and others want to be the leader of their own lives and the lives of their family.
Whatever your goals, I want to help you take personal responsibility for your leadership skills so you can lead by example
We, as humans, have many amazing superpowers. One of my clear favorites is our ability to create the future we desire. It’s truly amazing if you think about it. When you take the time to reflect on what you want your future to look like, when you create a plan of action, and then execute that plan, most any reality can be yours. And that’s what I want to help you do. To clarify and crystallize what you want your future to look like.
I like having a framework for doing things. A formula or recipe for success. I want to know that if I follow certain steps, I’ll get this result.
That’s what I’ve created for you to help you get where you want to go with your leadership skills and abilities.
You and I have enough time to do everything we want, but not enough time to waste. So let’s get started.
Overview of what we’ll cover:
- Examine your existing beliefs and emotions around leadership
- Decide how you’d like to feel and think about leadership and being a leader
- Clarifying your leadership goals and how you’ll lead by example
- Decide on your course of action and create your plan
- Making it real and sustainable in your life
- Removing blocks/impediments
- A learning framework for making it happen
- Have the will to do it or put the mechanism in place to ensure it’s completion
Examine your existing beliefs and emotions around leadership
What’s really holding you back from being a leader and leading by example?
We all have core beliefs, whether we’re aware of them or not. Much like your phone has an operating system that’s always running in the background, our core beliefs are always guiding our decision making.
Some of them were given to us at birth, many were installed when we were very little, and some have been downloaded along the way.
When you start thinking about yours, you’ll begin to recognize what your current version is. If you’re happy with them, excellent. If you’re not, I’ve got good news- you can change them. It won’t be easy, but you can do it.
Beliefs about leadership
Here is a list of prompts about leadership. As you read through them, write down the first thing that comes to mind; don’t overthink it.
- Leadership is
- Being a leader is
- I’d be a leader if
- My parents thought leaders
- In my family, leadership was
- To be a good leader, I’d need
- I’ll be a leader when
- To lead by example, I’d need to
- Being a leader is not
- Leading by example is
- I think leadership
- People think leadership
Now that you’ve written your initial thoughts on each of these, go back through and think more deeply about the ones that we’re the most triggering.
For example, if you wrote “I’ll be a leader when I’m older and more experienced,” spend time thinking about why you think that way. What did you think about leadership when you were a kid? Did your parents talk about it? Who did you perceive to be a strong leader?
For me, I thought that in order to be a leader, I needed to have attained a certain level of success. I thought no one would listen to me because I didn’t have enough experience.
I deferred and didn’t accept the responsibility of leadership for a long time.
It wasn’t until I recognized these limiting beliefs about my capabilities that I was able to recognize the impact I could have.
The more you can dig into your past and examine it, the better the chances of changing your beliefs from negative to positive.
To help you in this process, you can access our Values Course at no-cost.
Decide how you’d like to feel and think about leadership and being a leader
Once I get that new job, then I’ll be happy. Once I get that car, then I’ll be happy. Once I
I’m married and have a family, then I’ll be happy. Does any of that sound familiar?
We have an odd relationship with goals and happiness, and too often, we think about them
the wrong way. So, instead of thinking “once I get more money, then I’ll be happy,” decide how you want to feel, then think deeply about why you want what you want.
Once you’ve done that, then you’ll set your goals.
I’ve found word association helps me to get clear on how I truly want to feel.
For example, when I hear Good Parent, I feel present, I feel fully engaged, I feel locked-in and focused, I feel satisfaction. I have really good and strong feelings around being a good parent. This is a clear priority for me.
Let’s go through some leadership word association. For each, write down your initial feelings.
- Role model
- Difference maker
- In charge
The idea is to figure out how you want to feel. Once you’ve gone through each one, go back through them again and dig deeper. You can certainly add more as well.
To help you in this process, you can access our Goals Course at no-cost, where you’ll go deeper into this process.
Clarifying your leadership goals and how you’ll lead by example
I talked about how our ability to create the future we desire is a superpower.
When you take the time to reflect on what you want your future to look like, when you create a plan of action, and then execute that plan, most any reality can be yours.
It’s time to create the future you desire.
For each prompt, write down what you want (Feel free to add/subtract/substitute anything you’d like).
- What kind of leader are you?
- How do you lead?
- Who do you lead?
- Why do you lead?
- What kind of leader does the world need?
- What kind of leader does your community need?
- What kind of leader does your family need?
- What kind of leader do you need?
Be honest with yourself. Don’t judge yourself. What you want is what you want, and it’s great (whatever it is). These are your goals, this is your life, and you’ve got one shot at it. Plan for the life you want to live.
Again, you can access our Goals Course at no-cost, where you’ll go deeper into this process.
Decide on your course of action and create your plan
You’ve examined your existing beliefs. You’ve decided how you want to feel. You’ve clarified your goals. Now it’s time to chart your course of action and create your plan.
For each area, determine the desired result, cost and time horizon for making it happen. As you continue along, you’ll refine your plan and get more specific.
Example 1: My desired result is to improve my leadership skills. I’ve never had any formal training and I’d like to invest in some. I will invest in a training program or course, or coaching over the next 45 days.
Example 2: My desired result is to take on a leadership role in my company. I’ll need to obtain a certification that costs $2,500. I will ask my employer to sponsor my tuition next week.
Example 3: My desired result is to be President of my local alumni association. I’ll need to make my intentions known and run for election . I will speak with the current leadership within the next 30 days.
Complete this structure for each of your goals.
Making it real and sustainable in your life
It’s not enough to know. It’s not enough to know how. You also have to make change real and sustainable.
You need to recognize this is a lot. Odds are, you’ll need to acquire new skills and learnings for the different kinds of leadership you’re interested in.
Then there’s recognizing any emotional connections that exist. And then it’s integrating it all together.
You need to figure out how to maximize your resources of time, attention and money. And, you’ll need to take into consideration your desire and interest; do you want to spend time on this?
There has to be someone whose job it is to bring all of this together.
The good news is, there is support available at every level. There are many podcasts and bloggers focused on leadership. There are great books, courses and coaches who focus their efforts on developing leaders as well. .
But it comes down to choice. Will you choose to dedicate the resources to doing this? Will you accept the personal responsibility?
And that’s the most fundamental truth of all. The ultimate responsibility for your success is YOURS.
Whenever we’re trying to make real and lasting change, we’re going to run into blocks and impediments. These blocks can be both internal and external, so it’s important to be aware of them.
Fundamental blocks keeping us from becoming a better leader:
- Literacy into strategies and tactics
- Lack of interpersonal communication skills
- Lack of public speaking skills
- Lack of presentation skills
- Lack of organizational skills
- Feelings of unworthiness
- Lack of clarity on values
- Lack of clarity on goals
- Negative or toxic relationships
- Inherent biases and blindspots
- Acting emotionally versus logically
- Lack of time to devote to new learning
- Lack of money to invest
When we become aware of them, we need to take proper action to overcome them.
For example, if you lack literacy on organizational leadership, you could read blog posts and listen to podcasts, read a book or take a course, or work with a coach.
For example, if you lack public speaking skills and confidence, you’ll need to figure out where you can acquire them and get practical experience. There are organizations such as Toast Masters that can help, as well as many resources.
For example, if you’re struggling with an imposter complex, you’ll need to go back through your past experiences to identify why you’re feeling that way.. You can do this through personal research or through engaging with a coach or joining a mastermind.
To overcome what’s holding you back may require resources.
Where can you get the new knowledge you need? Knowing where you can go for information and knowledge is extremely important.
Do you want to spend time on this? Some people really enjoy learning about and improving their leadership skills, while others would prefer to not spend much time on it. There’s no right or wrong answer to this question. Again, it’s important to be honest with yourself.
Will you spearhead this effort, or will you find partners?
A Learning Framework for Making it Happen
“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”
Whatever you’re trying to get better at, if it’s personal finance, relationships or your leadership skills, there are three models for doing it.
- DIY Model. Information and raw data is everywhere. I’ve certainly combed through it all to learn new skills. You can listen to podcasts, watch YouTube videos and read blogs on literally every topic and leadership is no different.
- Invest Model. Tapping into the knowledge and teachings of others can greatly enhance the learning process. I’ve paid for and benefitted from many courses from college to online learning. There are a lot of courses for improving your leadership skills.
- Partner Model. Wisdom is more valuable today than ever. Getting the support and expertise in the form of coaching or a mastermind can get you where you want to go a lot faster. Working with a coach, or joining a mastermind can help you get where you want to go a lot faster.
Obviously, the more you can interact with an expert, the better. But if you have the time and attention, you can most certainly piece everything together on your own.
Have the will to do it or put the mechanism in place to ensure it’s completion
I think self-discipline is an incredible thing and I greatly value mine. It helps me to do things even when I don’t feel like doing them. Like getting out of bed in the morning to exercise, and managing our household budget.
I also don’t think it’s a genetic thing; I think you can cultivate and strengthen self-discipline.
Do you know who David Goggins is? He’s possibly the most self-disciplined and intense human on the planet. He transformed himself from unhealthy and out-of-shape to a world-class athlete and he inspires millions of people.
I bring him up because it took David Goggins a while to get where he is today, and it may take you a while to get where you want to go with money. You can’t get out of debt in a week any more than you can lose 100 pounds in a month.
Structure first. Then self-discipline.
As you work up to your Goggin’s level of self-discipline, putting structure in place will help you get everything that needs to get done. That’s where your SOP comes in.
Your SOP (Standard operating procedure)
A standard operating procedure is a set of step-by-step instructions compiled by an organization to help their people get what needs to get done, completed.
If it’s for an organization, why would an individual have one?
If you have a simple, straightforward and uncomplicated life, you probably don’t need one. Odds are, you have a complex life with a lot of moving parts. The more you can systematize and put structure around the things that need to get done, the better.
When it comes to leadership, I’ve already talked about how complex it can be. Keeping on top of everything that needs to happen on a monthly basis is important.
- Checklists. One day, perhaps many of the things you need to be successful will be second nature. Until that day, make a checklist for everything that needs doing. For example, developing a list of everything that comprises your morning routine can help ensure nothing slips through the cracks.
- Calendar. What gets scheduled, gets done. If you don’t put all of your important activities into your calendar, they’ll get bumped by some other “emergency.” For example, schedule times during your day for learning and practicing the skills you’re working to acquire.
- Automate. The more we can take our hands off the wheel, the better. For example, setting alerts for new content from your favorite leadership YouTube channel.
- Delegate. Get a coach or join a mastermind. If there’s an area you lack in, find someone or something that can support you in your change.
I don’t want this to seem as though I’m doing a commercial for outsourcing, I’m not. You’re perfectly capable of doing this yourself. Again, be honest with yourself about whether or not you want to spend the time and attention it will take to get where you want to go.
If you find you need additional help, then look at outsourcing.
You have choice.
You can choose to get the resources you need to break through. To tap into your superpower and to create the future you desire.
Will you accept personal responsibility?
What’s your first step?
We’re here to help. Check out the LifeBlood podcast wherever you listen to podcasts; we’ve spent a lot of time talking about leadership.
Leadership success is available to you, get started!
You can access our Goals Course at no-cost.
You can access our Values Course at no-cost.
Connect with one our Certified Coaches.
Invest in one of our Courses.
Here are some applicable episodes of the LifeBlood podcast that talk about making change. We also have a lot of content around personal finance as well.
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