Only One Thing You Need To Succeed As A Leader
If you were asked right now about what you need to succeed as a leader, what would you respond with?
Your answers may be:
- Connection/engaging with people
- Hard work
- Being self-aware
- Reading & learning
- (and many others, so the list goes….)
While that list is admirable, there is only ONE thing that you and anyone else needs in order to be successful. That one thing is:
Sounds too simple, you say? Permit me to point out why willingness is THE key trait all leaders must have.
A willing leader:
- Humbles themselves to understand their shortcomings and grow their weaknesses
- Commits to the hard changes necessary to grow people, businesses, and self
- Endures the hard road while sticking to their dreams, their values, the mission, and the goals at hand
- Does whatever is necessary and needed to make positive change happen
- Endures the criticism from others, the failures from others (and self!) and the doubts that creep in
Without willingness, disciplines becomes drudgery, goals become wishes, and connecting becomes disingenuous. By not being willing, self-awareness becomes defensiveness, planning becomes a chore, and the pride of knowing it all derails any attempts to learn and grow.
Note the willingness of these people to change their lives and the world around them:
- Walt Disney was willing not to hear critics of his drawings, or his dreams
- Abraham Lincoln was willing to endure political and personal failures to hone his character and drive to become president
- Mahatma Ghandi was willing to endure ridicule, imprisonment, and long periods of fasting to bring India into a self-ruling state
- Aron Ralston was willing to cut off his arm to extricate himself from a boulder that trapped him in a canyon
- Olympic athletes who willingly sacrifice time and family to represent their country and pursue victory
- Visionary leaders willing to put their family’s security at stake to pursue a dream
- Missionaries willing to leave the comforts of home to minister and serve others abroad
- Parents willing to give up their energy and luxury in their prime of life for the hope of investing in a better life for their children
Whether you’re an executive, teacher, manager, student, or dreamer, you need willingness to see where you want to go and what you need to change to get there.
- Are you willing to put in the time, energy, and focus to realize the goal?
- Are you willing to forego any credit in order to promote your people and their talents?
- Are you willing to admit you have room to grow in order to be more effective?
- Can you be willing to accept any input from others about your character, your ability, and put it into play in your leadership life?
Look across any successful leader your know and wish to learn from, and you’ll see a willing spirit within them.
Unsuccessful leaders aren’t willing to change themselves or do what is necessary. The most successful leaders are willing where the rest of the pack is simply not.
How willing are YOU to make those changes for yourself and the ones around you? Let me know!!