When you look in the mirror what do you see? A strong leader? Or a wanna-be? How do you navigate the arduous journey from yearning to becoming?
The first step is knowing where you want to go. Have you charted the course of your career path?
The second step is knowing where you are right now—you know, like one of those mall directory arrows indicating that “You Are Here.”
The third step is believing that you can get “there” from “here.” That reassurance alone will make your journey feel less daunting and a whole lot shorter.
Charting Your Course
Asking yourself some key questions and mustering up the courage to take ownership of the answers may make your potential as a manager or supervisor that much more apparent to you and ultimately to your colleagues.
What’s your end-game? Why do you want to lead? Bigger office? Fatter paycheck? More prestige? Even if your motives aren’t exactly noble, being honest with yourself about them may make you more open to accepting the motives of others.
What drives you? Is it being in charge or is it being in tune with the members of your team? Knowing your strengths without being haughty, and recognizing your weaknesses without shame will make you more teachable and approachable.
How does what you see in the mirror differ from the image in your head? Do you like the cut of your own jib? Are you comfortable in your own skin? If not, why not, and what are you willing to do about it?
Practice your leadership skills on yourself. Whip yourself into shape. Groom yourself not just to reflect, but to actually become the kind of executive you know you can be. And seek help for aspects of your comportment that need improvement — posture, public speaking style, even your handshake. Believe it or not, your willingness to be the best self you can be is actually an invaluable characteristic of authentic leadership.
You can only lead if you have followers. Where do you want to go and why should anyone follow you there? Be deliberate and methodical about this phase of your self-assessment. Carve out some quality time, find a quiet place, and write your personal business plan including your career goals, the strong personal attributes you bring to your team, and the ones that need shoring up. Brainstorm ways to identify and cultivate strengths in yourself as well as your team members.
Set some goals and deadlines for the achievement of these objectives. And make it an adventure instead of a burdensome chore. For example, every time you reach an important milestone, celebrate it! Pat yourself and your team on the back at a lunch or dinner. Make a big deal out of every big goal you accomplish. It’s great for morale and it’s a tremendous motivation to keep moving forward.
Actualizing your dream of becoming a top producer, manager, supervisor, or executive can be one of the most professionally rewarding and personally enriching experiences of your life — if you embrace it.
Now, look in the mirror again. Do you see your success as a leader staring back at you? Good! Now go for it!
Contact Magnovo Training Group for more on becoming a strong leader.