Great leaders are all about maximizing potential, leaving a legacy and efficient use of their time. They are focused, fast paced and forward thinking. While all of these attributes have their pros and cons, there is one undeniable result from the combination of them all. Great leaders love leading other potential leaders!
CAN YOU KEEP UP?
At this point in my journey, I’d say I’m pretty far from being a great leader. I’m not being modest or humble in saying that, I seriously have a lot to learn. Either way, I do pray that I’m at least heading in the right direction. Yet, even at my level of leadership, I’ve already narrowed my focus, increased my speed and developed a strong dislike of time-wasters (people and things).
I find that I naturally gravitate to people who can “keep up”. Meaning, those who are able to see where we are and where we are trying to get to, but in addition to that, are self-starters in doing the work needed to get there. People who are great leaders of themselves require less “hand-holding”, which can be an unwanted break in a leaders’ pace. Self-leaders also glean best from on the job coaching, because they always looking for ways to build their experience. They do well at watching the leader, asking great questions, and testing their findings in order to boost their growth.
I find that this trait of leading leaders is a characteristic displayed clearly in the leaders I study and I’m certain, the leaders you study as well.
Great leaders love leading other leaders!
POTENTIAL IS ATTRACTIVE
Great leaders have a habit for recognizing other potentially great leaders and gravitating towards them. They desire to lead and pour into the young but potentially great leader because they know that the young leader will be able to go further than they ever could if prepared properly. It’s in the DNA of a great leader to ensure a great legacy, and this is primarily done by developing other. You could imagine then that the work is slightly easier with others who have taken the initiative to build their experience and seek personal growth. The thought or idea of having to lead someone who has not shown this kind of self-starting initiative simply communicates as more work with potentially fewer results. Not that great leaders are unwilling to take on this task, it simply isn’t their first preference. On rare occasions, a leader may see an opportunity to mold an inexperienced young leader for specific reasons. But that is the exception, not the rule. An additional thought to remember is that while the potential is attractive, it is not enough. Potential may open the door to great opportunities with great leaders, but work ethic keeps the opportunity alive. Self-leaders not only take initiative but are results oriented as well. The aptitude to be a self-starter or to take initiative is a valuable leadership skill at all levels. However, if you are unable to finish what you start or finish well, that skill loses it’s appeal quickly. The ability not just get things started, but to get things done well is a sign to those in leadership that you are interested in growth and ready for more responsibility.
While the potential is attractive it is not enough! Potential may open the door to opportunities with great leaders, but work ethic keeps the opportunity alive.
SELF-LEADER, NOT SELFISH
One final note on being a leader that great leaders love to lead. You’re not a leader if no one is following! Here’s what I mean. Young leaders often get so caught up with impressing superiors that they forget their peers. Leadership is a team sport! Keep in mind that almost every professional athlete trains both individually and with their team. If you find that you can’t work well with others to accomplish a single goal or task, it should be your priority to improve that skill. Otherwise, you risk bringing your poor people skills into great leadership opportunities and needless to say, that never ends well… for anyone. Working well with others serves as an indicator to great leaders about your leadership skill and can create more growth opportunities for you. The goal in leading yourself well is not to undercut the strengths of others but to recognize and develop your own. This allows you to do a few important things. First, you will be able to easily recognize your own weaknesses as you work on your strengths and determine more clearly the skills you need on your team to compensate for what you lack. Second, you will be positioned well to encourage the growth and development of the people on your team instead of being intimidated by them. Finally, leading yourself well releases you from relying solely on those ahead of you for creating opportunities for personal growth and development. Meaning, your potential will not be limited by your position.
The goal in leading yourself well is not to undercut the strengths of others but to recognize and develop your own.
THE POCKET POTENTIAL
The leadership secret you need to know is that great leaders love leading other leaders. If you’re hoping to grow into a greater leadership opportunity, then start by becoming a great self-leader. Identify the vision, mission or goal set before your team and begin to work stubbornly towards it. Begin small by taking initiative, planning ahead and finishing your small goal well. Pinpoint areas you can grow in, like working well with others and even leading projects in a way that allows the strengths of your team to shine. Determine to win as a team and your team will want you to win as their leader.
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, be sure to share it with a friend and follow this blog by subscribing with your email. Also, if you have other ideas about great practices of self-leadership leave a comment! I’d love to learn from you!
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