“Trust only movement. Life happens at the level of events, not of words. Trust movement.” ~Alfred Adler
To be a leader is to trust change. This perhaps is one of the most critical attributes to learn that it is not about trusting others or yourself it is about trusting the nature of life and that it will evolve and change.
“True, trust necessarily carries with it uncertainties, but we must force ourselves to think about these uncertainties as possibilities and opportunities, not liabilities.” Robert C. Solomon
The leaders who get this are able to make quantum leaps for themselves and their organizations. Consider any great leader you esteem and you will find them on the edge of change. They are out leading and living on the horizon reminding others of the goal, the vision, the future. These leaders have learned to be tolerant of mistakes of others knowing it will grow better leaders and create a stronger future. This is perhaps the true risk leaders take and...
“Follow your instincts. That’s where true wisdom manifests itself.” Oprah
To be a good leader you have to be a good follower. The ability to “follow” your instincts is an innate skill that takes practice to know, hear, understand and “follow”.
Can it be taught…no. It must be discovered through life experience …if you did not retain it from your childhood. We are all born with fabulous instincts and part of our socialization process muffles the voice of intuition and instinct.
“He did not arrive at this conclusion by the decent process of quiet, logical deduction, nor yet by the blinding flash of glorious intuition, but by the shoddy, untidy process halfway between the two by which one usually gets to know things.” Margery Allingham
Once you begin to look for your intuition and instincts….you will find it.
“Instinct is the nose of the mind.” Madame De Girardin
Here are some ways to find your...
“The key elements in the art of working together are how to deal with change, how to deal with conflict, and how to reach our potential…the needs of the team are best met when we meet the needs of individuals persons.” Max Dupree
To lead teams in multi locations takes open-mindedness and clear goals. Leaders who are able to maintain a fresh view on life and the world are the best people for this type of assignment. The ability to lead teams across the multi locations and/or the world requires the following:
“Conflict is inevitable in a team … in fact, to achieve synergistic solutions, a variety of ideas and approaches are needed. These are the ingredients for conflict.”
Solution Thinking – because of different time zones and cultures it takes patience, resiliency, and ingenuity to find places, times and ways to connect. Having the mindset to focus on “how to make this work…”, “I wonder if there is...
“We would accomplish many more things if we did not think of them as impossible.” Vince Lombardi
Vince was right and wrong at the same time.
As leaders we are presented everyday with situations that are described by others as “impossible” and yet we find a way through. What allows the impossible to be possible is simply based on the leader’s ability to listen to all those who are telling you why it can’t happen and what the obstacles are to achieving the impossible. Once you understand all the parameters of an impossible situation you can find a way through. The ability to listen to all the concerns and face reality is fundamental and critical to making the impossible possible.
“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!” — Audrey Hepburn
Making the impossible possible requires a mindset that says, “there is a way through”. If you do not have this world view than anything impossible...
“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.” ~Elbert Hubbard, The Note Book, 1927
Leadership and life are a continual learning process. To learn is to engage in new situations and experiences. This ability to step into fresh experiences and learning keeps leaders strong, capable and centered.
“Why?”, you ask…
Because Leaders may not have all the knowledge of where they are going, but they do have knowledge of how to learn and grow in any situation. Leaders are not afraid of making mistakes, in fact they are afraid they won’t make one ….which means they have grown complacent.
“It was when I found out I could make mistakes that I knew I was on to something.” ~Ornette Coleman
Making mistakes are a true and bold sign of learning and growth. Once you get the hang of it you see the value in being wrong or your concepts not quite...
“Art begins with resistance – at the point where resistance is overcome. No human masterpiece has ever been created without great labor.” Andre Gide
The best ideas take hard work. That is why passion for an idea, concept, etc is so critical for it is the energy which fuels the work. To be passionate about an idea means you will have:
The drive to make it happen.
The drive to engage others in the process.
The drive to keep with it when others keep pointing out all the hard work and problems there are with your idea.
In the movie “The Field of Dreams” there is a quote “If you build it they will come”. What the movie infers but never says “you have to build it and market it” for others to come. Watch it again with new eyes.
The passion and drive to see something come to life takes work. The self development and growth you will experience is exponential. You will be changed, you will grow and you will be ripe for...
In the book "Playing to Win" by Larry and Hersch Wilson they define the journey of growth as playing to win. To grow requires you to challenge your core maps and redefine them to align with your values and true sense of self.
This is the epitaph they share:
"I took the risk.
I discovered who I was.
I was an adventurer."
Related: How Leaders Make Decisions
To choose growth is to choose risk.
What risk are you holding back from that is in alignment with your true self?
What conversation do you need to have with yourself that you have been holding back on?
What would you do if you accepted this premise "I cannot fail, I can only learn and grow"?
Why should you choose growth which will stretch you and make you uncomfortable?
Why would you choose a path that is not comfortable or convenient?
Share your thoughts when you are ready.
"I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it." Pablo Picasso
Risk is inherent in any endeavor. Leaders know the more time they spend not taking risk the slower they grow. Risk is simply growth, taking on new skills or opportunities you have yet to learn about. By limiting risk, you limit learning, and if you are not learning, you are not growing .... you are shrinking.
Warren Bennis noticed leaders who take risks make one or two big mistakes a year and leaders who don't take risks make one or two big mistakes a year. Leaders get mistakes will happen and remain open to learning from mistakes to improve. When we limit our growth, we stagnate and so to do others around us.
"Yes, risk taking is inherently failure-prone. Otherwise, it would be called sure-thing-taking." Tim McMahon
If you are always focused on getting it right you are losing the opportunity to see new possibilities. It is through trial and error that growth happens.
"A wonderful emotion to get things moving when one is stuck is anger. It was anger more than anything else that had set me off, roused me into productivity and creativity."
After working with a vast diversity of leaders from around the world it is clear the most successful leaders seek out new possibilities and are extremely creative. Creative leaders understand that the conduit to creativity is through emotion. The emotion could be passion, love, anger, playful, sadness, happiness, laughter, joy, frustration, irritation, surprise, etc. but the key to creation comes through emotion.
Creativity cannot be made to happen, you have to let it come through you.
Leaders who want to inspire others and find new ways are comfortable with allowing their emotions to flow through. They take the time to notice and understand what is at the core of the emotion. In this understanding new possibilities and growth emerges ....also known as new creative options and possibilities.
"In dreams begins responsibility." - William Butler Yeats
The ability to dream is one of the great responsibilities of leadership.
Everyday the noise of the world is wanting to engage you in the short term focus of the day. Yet the work, the real work is to hear the vision of the dream. Once you hear and see the dream you can help others focus the conversations, behaviors and actions to bring the vision to life.
Building the vision of the dream...the Longview ...is for the courageous few. Leaders are not rewarded for having a Longview. Today they are rewarded for the smart ideas they have to show short term growth.
Yet the truth of the future is held in nature. The strongest trees glow slow, steady and thick, fields produce more when they lay fallow one year, it takes years to raise a child, and the examples go on. To engage in growing good ideas, teams, businesses, etc takes the ability to see the Longview and it takes tenacity.
Having the Longview requires:
The ability to make...