Leadership is an inside job. On the leadership continuum there is leadership of self, then leadership of others. To lead others effectively there must be an inner leader that exists within and is connected to values and beliefs and a core mission. This is true even if you are leading yourself. Where do you want to go? What do you want to accomplish when you get there?
I know you may be wondering, “why, now, would these questions be asked?”. It is time to start answering these questions first as an individual, then as an organization. These two questions help set the GPS of your Leadership to get everyone to the proper destination.
Have you ever experienced a leader who is wandering? They are going to and from, here and there. They are unsettling within their job and the responsibilities they have. They are constantly searching for the next great thing, having forgotten to recognize the great thing right in front of them. It can be easy to lead others and yet forget to lead yourself and end up looking around asking, “how did I get here?”.
Leadership is an inside job
The HERE is ultimately what we have control over as Maverick Leaders. We set the destination for what we want in our lives. We determine the course we will take to get there and if the journey will be peaceful and enjoyable or filled with drama and fear. The decision about how your mind will perceive the journey is based on what you decide is relevant to you and what you acknowledge as truth.
It could be true that every failure you encounter is a lesson you are learning to equip you for the journey ahead. It could be that every difficulty faced is building muscles for the heavy lifting that is sure to come in the future. It could be that the unwanted stops along the way are equipping you with tools and supplies for the destination.
Failure can be the greatest gift a leader gets when they unwrap the gift and dive into what is inside. What caused the failure in the first place? What could have prevented the situation from occurring? Why did this happen? Why should we care that this happened? How can we be better because of it? These questions take the failure and shift it into a lesson that is worth taking notes from and applying.
To apply the lessons from a failure, we need to build more capacity within. This is where having the ability to lift heavy things; emotionally, mentally, and spiritually, is critical for a leader. Picture a body builder lifting heavy weights. Envision them training for hours, weeks, and years. Leadership has the same training regime, however its main tools for building muscle are difficulty and uncertainty. When we embrace the difficulty, we build the fortitude needed to stay the course even when there are multiple stops.
Stopping along a leadership journey can feel like failure or a difficulty that cannot be overcome. After all, momentum is one of a leader’s greatest gifts. It can make the situation appear better than it really is because the pace is moving quickly. On the contrary, with a lack of momentum, things can appear worse because they are still and hard to perceive. Stopping does allow for check-ins, resets, and shifts, if necessary. Stopping can be perceived as a failure to some, however, to a seasoned leader who is grounded in the mission and purpose, a stop is often the difference between fleeting victory or sustained success.
As you consider where you are today along your journey, consider your GPS destination and how you are using the failures, lessons, and stops to lead you.