Listening to a lecture last week by Scott Fay of the John Maxwell Team, this statement grabbed my attention: “If you can’t lead yourself successfully, everything else in your life is going to be a struggle.” Immediately, I thought, “I know people like that.” None of us want’s to struggle and we don’t have to. There are better ways to achieve your dreams and there’s still time to make 2015 one of your best years yet if you’re willing to take a new approach to your personal and professional leadership development.
There are so many books written, so many seminars presented on the topic of leadership and still people struggle with the enormity of it all. Who of us hasn’t encountered a company, a non-profit organization or a leader—by title—who doesn’t know how to lead?
Here’s a plan will help you move forward from wherever you are, whatever your starting point. Before you write word one, ask yourself, “What is it I want?” “What is it I really, really want?” Until you figure this out and own it, you’re going to miss the mark every time. So invest some time thinking about what it is you really want for your career, the people you love and for yourself. Be specific and keep the list short.
- Focus like a laser on actions you must take to achieve what you really want. I like to map out my action plan a month at a time for the coming month only. Then when month end approaches, I highlight my most important achievements and start compiling my action steps for the next month. I refer to them as “Intentions, Goals and Aspirations.” As one month ends, I can see clearly what I have to build on for the coming month.
- “Intentions, Goals and Aspirations” are neither right nor wrong. They’re just yours to create, to think big and be who you are in keeping with what matters most to you. What will you do with the opportunities before you?
- Everyone we meet has a different map of the world so let’s not assume our way is the only way. We can work and live with others without agreeing with them.
- Be selective about when to say “yes” and get comfortable with saying “no.”
- Stay focused on what you really want and be accountable to yourself and others to whom you’ve made promises.
- If after a couple of months you’re not pleased with your progress, engage the help of a leadership coach or mentor to make you aware of your blind spots, challenge you, and hold you accountable.
My own intentions, goals and aspirations are a true calling: to support others in maximizing their strengths and achieving their dreams. It’s who I am and what I do. I have no need to struggle because my work is front and center in alignment with what I do as a leader, mentor and executive coach. What’s front and center for you?
The life you live is the life you choose.
2015 Blogs/Feb Blog One Intentions ProfDev 2015