Making the leap from entrepreneur to CEO isn’t always an easy journey. I’ve seen many people struggle with this transition. The ability to lead is not something you are born with; it is something you must constantly cultivate. And, the more success you have, the more leadership will be required. It is one thing to […]
“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they […]
Leaders should be in a constant learning mode. Once you think you know it all give up the reigns of power because you will become detrimental to your organization. While some basic fundamental beliefs may remain true regardless of the circumstances, most of what takes place in business is in a constant state of flux. Your goal should be to stay ahead of the change curve not fall behind it. One way to do this is to keep asking questions and seeking answers. You can never be smart enough.
Growth and improvement as a leader doesn’t always involve heavy lifting or hard work. Here are 15 relatively easy things you can do right away to improve your performance and results
Change for the sake of change is never advisable. All change should be rooted in some obvious reality that requires a shift in the status quo. When you have something that is working stick with it. This doesn’t mean you run it to the ground, but also doesn’t mean you abandon it too soon either. In general, there are usually more things that are right rather than wrong with an organization unless of course it’s a crisis situation. There should be many positives you can lean on and leverage for both short and long term benefit.
More often than not, the biggest barrier to our success is ourself. I’ve noticed that people can talk themselves out of just about anything. Sometimes this is good. Sometimes it is not. When it comes to limiting your perspective on what’s possible for you in terms of your work life I find this to usually be a bad thing. Happiness and self-fulfillment in your career shouldn’t be viewed as optional. The history of the business landscape is full of ordinary people who accomplished extraordinary things.
Talent will only ever get you so far in life. You have to regularly exercise that talent and push yourself to do better. The moment you start getting too comfortable in your role is the moment you become vulnerable to someone else who wants it more. As all high performing athletes instinctively know the difference between success and failure can literally be measured in inches or seconds. This doesn’t mean that you have to become a workaholic but it does mean you should take nothing for granted. The landscape of leadership history is littered with countless numbers of talented people who never fully realized their potential and/or settled for being “good enough.”
It’s sad and frustrating how many people talk themselves out of success. I see it all the time. If comparable energy was given to figuring out how to overcome obstacles as is given to identifying them, many more people would live happier lives. It’s important to always remember that what we focus on expands and what we ignore contracts. You should only listen to that little voice in your head when the self-talk is positive and constructive not negative.
Knowledge is one of the biggest advantages you can have in life. If you know something and other people don’t then there is automatically a need for your informed opinion. It is the ultimate equalizer because it has nothing to do with age, gender or race. Some people may begin life with a genetic head start or environmental advantages, however, unless they keep learning it is very likely someone else will pass them buy.
Anything is possible but not everything is probable. We all just need to figure out how much risk we are willing to take and how hard we are willing to work at something. You can choose to live an easy low stress existence or you can push yourself to the limits – it’s up to you. Most of us live somewhere in between these two polar opposites and usually end up with the outcomes we deserve.
It’s important never to get too full of yourself or expect good times and success to be never-ending. The laws of gravity apply in all aspects of life: what goes up must come down. No one lives at the peak for too long. I’ve always believed that it’s not just what happens when you are on top that matters, but also the grace with how you manage the inevitable changes and decline. Life is about cycles and reinvention. It is not a continuous upward sloping straight line.
Leadership and life is about reinvention. Who you are today will not be who you are tomorrow. There are too many variables beyond your realm of control. I sincerely hope that life is kind to you and that you won’t be given more to manage than you can handle. However, life also rewards those who are prepared. The market continues to value and reward those organizations that take calculated risks and proactively strive to create a successful future. People who live the most fulfilling lives are those willing to make changes and challenge conventional wisdom. If you stand still, others will pass you by and life will eventually run you over.
Inspiration can come from anywhere at anytime. Sometimes it’s triggered by small seemingly innocuous events other times it is the result of something significant happening. It’s not something you can program or create as needed. In its best form it usually happens organically and unexpectedly. Sadly, most people allow these moments to pass them by and they evaporate almost as quickly as they came.
Unless you win the lottery or are born into it, wealth doesn’t just land in your lap. Passively pursuing success never works. Far too many people are waiting for their ship to come in and they haven’t even chartered a boat yet. You have to create the conditions for success for it to happen. And, it all starts with YOU and your willingness to believe in and bet on yourself.
Every leader I know wants to be successful. In fact, they can usually articulate the generalities and specifics of what this means pretty easily. However, the majority of these same people spend most of their time simply “surviving”. Why is this? If it’s not a question of awareness, what is getting in our way? The answer is simple: our actions don’t match our thoughts, ideas or goals.
It’s very easy to narrow our definition of what’s possible if we are not careful. In any situation there are inevitably obstacles to be overcome. However, these barriers to our success should not hinder our creativity but instead ignite it. While many things may not seem probable at first glance, there is very little that isn’t possible.
I recommend that in business or life before taking on anything important, step back and consult with the affected parties. Solicit their feedback not just on whether or not it’s a good idea or what steps are necessary for execution, but also what could make it fail.
It’s easy to fall in love with your own opinions and limit your intellectual breadth to your own world view; however it also stunts your growth personally and professionally. A good mentor will ensure this does not happen by providing an objective opinion regarding your ideas, decisions and actions.
To be a leader that truly matters you must first seek, then tap into your passion(s). Caring deeply about what you do rather than seeing it as a job or a responsibility will make all the difference in the long run.