As the CEO of your company you are likely a natural born leader. Maybe you didn’t notice right away, but people just started following your lead one day. Your peers looked to you for advice in business, in sports, in school, in really anything in which you were involved. Sound about right?
Or maybe that’s not you at all, you are successful because of your ideas and hard work but leadership skills is not at the top of your list of inborn talents.
So where are you at now? Looking back at your 10-year plan from ten years ago, how does your life stack up? Are you the leader you hoped to be? Maybe you’ve accomplished some of your biggest goals, maybe you haven’t. Either way, your potential as a leader can be as big as you want it to be. If you want to be the leader you’ve always hoped to be, you need to:
1. Define what type of leader you want to be. If you don’t know what kind of leader you want to be, how will you achieve your goals? A great tactic is to borrow examples from your mentors and the leaders you admire by adopting the good characteristics you see in them. Embrace the success of the people that have gone before you and learn from them.
2. Define what type of leader you are. By knowing where you are, you will find it easier to get to your destination. Think, for example, of Google Maps. You know your final destination is Minneapolis, MN but if you don’t enter in a starting point you have a goal with no clear way to get there. The same goes for your leadership journey, you won’t be able to generate any direction, let alone the best direction, if you don’t know from where you are starting.
3. Generate direction. So now you have point a and point b – but what’s in between? You have some ground to cover. Outline your goals with specificity; how are you going to achieve them? If you want to write a book about leadership by a specific age you should have deadlines for your writing. If you want to reach a specific personal net worth, what will it take you to get there? Nothing happens overnight, but anything can happen with a well though our plan with milestones.
4. Find a mentor. One of the best ways to get somewhere is to go with someone that is already there. Find a leader that you admire and glean all that you can from them. Ask them for tips, study what they do, and modify those things to fit your situation.
5. Be a mentor. Being a mentor is beneficial for many reasons. As you help someone else progress there will be a bigger emphasis for you to progress. By knowing that someone is looking up to you and learning from you adds motivation to achieve your goals. Mentorships can also serve as a great form of accountability for not only the person you are mentoring but also for you.
6. Analyze and Celebrate. Keep track of how you are doing by reviewing your progress regularly. Celebrate your achievements along the way and continue moving forward.
The goal should be as one of the old military commercials commanded “be all you can be”. If you focus on developing your leadership skills, your organization not only benefits from your growth but also maybe some of your staff will be emulating you. The company wins again!
Dave Baney is the founder and CEO of 55 Questions, LLC, and author of “The 3×5 Coach: A Practical Guide to Coaching Your Team for Greater Results and Happier People”, which is available in Paperback or a Kindle version at https://tinyurl.com/y8ecykfy
At 55 Questions, we work with successful top executives with a driving ambition to crush their competition. We help CEOs and Entrepreneurs improve alignment, communication, and accountability throughout their organization. www.55Questions.com
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