Category Archives: Leadership Development
In recent weeks the area I live has been subject to much rain. So much in fact that certain areas have washed away in part; some a little, some quite a lot.
In the course of time and entropy, the elements that something is exposed to can wear it down. It often takes an outside agent for those items to be built back again, whether to maintain or to enhance.
Our leadership growth trajectory can be like that in many ways.
We often experience period of erosion in our growth and effectiveness, both professionally and personally. That step backwards can from from the external elements we find ourselves in. More often than not, those contributing factors come within our own selves.
In these times we can get discouraged from our failures and our paralysis to shore up ourselves will lead to further and more rapid erosion, lost credibility, and uselessness to every sphere we hope to influence.
But unlike the roadway which cannot repair itself, we can be our own agents for change. by learning form what derailed us, first within ourselves then in our response to those external to us, we can shift the momentum of our leadership influence into an upward trajectory and back on the path of growth and success.
And if that is a challenge, we can still rely on those agents other than self to help us. Our mentors, coaches, spouses, pastors, and colleagues can be great resources to get back in the game, if we are willing to let them help us.
Life and leadership are intertwined, and the object lessons in both are the same in many respects. Our growth is never a liner upward line, but usually a 1 step backward and 2 steps forward plodding over time that reaps positive results and tremendous impact to those around us.
Resolve today to take those 2 steps forward. Don’t allow your stumbling to hold you there. Look to improve your response, missteps, and faults and then charge forward to improve to build upon that resolve and revelation into your leadership character.
It’s always important to realize your shortfalls. It’s even more important to move on from them.
If many leaders took the time to be self-aware and accountable, they would discover so much about how they hamper their credibility and effectiveness in their role.
In today’s world of shifting blame, wanting immediate (though unrealistic) results, and rushing from task to task without deep thought, many leader’s today run into traps that an honest self-assessment and shoring up can avoid. Here are some ways that leaders, and perhaps yourself, may be destroying our credibility as an effective and respected leader:
- Blaming others for a ball dropped on our end
- Not listening to instructions, expectations, feedback, or requests
- Pushing through to get results, or other subtle or overt ways of bullying
- Making hyperbolic claims to generate an emotional response and get a desired outcome
- Having an unrealistic time frame or expectation
- Being frustrated at other’s inefficiency or incompetence when they were not properly trained
- Not communication expectations and being frustrated when they are not met
- Being late, short in tone, or barely engaged in any personal interaction
- Calling others to account for failed performance without having all the facts
For any leader to have any success, they must be able to understand their thoughts and communicate them to everyone in their sphere. They must also come to grips with realism, both within themselves and with others, to ensure they know processes and improvement measures. Great leaders speak plainly, with facts, and take the heat for any missteps on their end. Overall, the best leaders are astute at gathering information, communicating if to everyone involved, and processing the feedback to improve performance, expectations, and processes with maximum engagement and minimal disconnect and confusion.
Determine to build these skills within yourself and watch the impact and turnaround your organization will reap from having a credible and capable leader who can properly process what goes on around them.
I am currently reading a book that is a slow and arduous read for me.
It’s from one of my favorite authors and part of a series he wrote. The book has been a challenge for me to comprehend and digest without concentrated effort. The difficulty is not the vocabulary or content, but the means in which the author describes events that require deliberate thinking and focus. It’s not a book to merely skim through or read for pure pleasure – it reveals in a narrative our own true nature and the struggles we have in this world.
I have a couple of times thought of shelving it in favor of a more easy read, and this is where I stop short and catch myself. If I am to grow in my reading, my leadership, and myself, then I would do well to challenge myself to get the most out of this book and work through it.
My struggle has lent these questions to us all:
How many times have we abandoned a task or goal because it required effort? How have we shortchanged ourselves by not taking on the hard challenges in life?
In looking back on the closing year, where could we have worked harder, tackled difficulties head-on, or built a more steely resolve to grow and learn? Where did we abandon our goals for the sake of comfort, less stress, or easy “low hanging fruit”?
- We can exercise 10 minutes a day to get fit, or 20 minutes to get past the burn factor and make more of an impact in our bodies.
- We can spend 10 more minutes each morning in goal setting, reflection, prayer, and planning instead of sleeping in for those minutes.
- We can approach that person you avoid in order to work out differences and build a better working relationship.
- We can do the thing we fear the most to build incredible momentum and accomplishment in our lives.
As we review these times and look forward to the New Year, let’s use the lesson from my reading and determine to tackle the harder challenges in our lives in order to grow far beyond those token goals that make us feel good but profit us very little.
Challenge yourself today and this year by taking on the harder challenges in your personal and professional life.
Best in 2017 to you all!!