Leadership is an art form. Over the years I have been blessed to spend time in the trenches of Coaching, Corporate America and as an Entrepreneur. I have had the distinct privilege of watching a plethora of great leaders sculpt their followers, businesses and churches into beautiful people capable of anything. It is truly a blessing to observe a skilled leader in their natural habitat. Just as a skilled leader works and kneads the talents of his or her followers, a leader is formed over time like a sculpture in the hands of a gifted artist.
A Consultants View
When a consultant begins the discovery process in order to stimulate growth in a business, the consultant will normally begin by asking a series of questions and by performing a diagnostic that will provide the adequate information necessary to prepare a diagnosis. Without proper inventory or a “bird’s eye” view of a company’s or individual’s business position, it is virtually impossible to activate necessary change without guesswork. Just as a company is not born overnight, a company does not ignite positive change on a whim. A systematic and strategic approach must be present to allow for sustainable positive change. There is a time of discovery, deconstruction, reconstruction and activation. The same can be said in leadership. Leaders must be incubated and / or constantly re invented in similar fashion. There must be a consistent inventory process followed by deconstruction, reconstruction and then activation. I liken this process to a muscle fiber in the human body. The muscle must first be torn before it can heal and begin to grow into its larger and more effective state. One does not begin to lead simply because they have been placed in a leadership role. Someone may make decisions that effect small or even vast amounts of people, but they have not necessarily “arrived” as a leader. I would submit that no one ever “arrives” as a leader. Through dedication, hard work and a commitment to personal honesty and candor, one can work to become a more complete leader of people. Whether a person is a leader in his or her family or the CEO of a large corporation, their personal growth model must contain a disciplined inventory system of strengths, weaknesses and personal observation that can be studied for implementation. The Pursuit of Greatness I have always found it interesting to follow the training regiments of world class athlete. The world’s best usually spend about 90% of their time planning, practicing and evaluating their performance and skills and only 10% of their time actually competing or executing. How much time does the corporate athlete spend in preparation? Not 90%, that’s for sure. What if we reversed it and leaders spent a practical 10% of their time taking inventory of their strengths and shortfalls and creating a disciplined plan to grow as a leader? This strategy has become my personal inventory growth model. I am not perfect and I certainly have not “arrived”, however, I am not the leader I was one year ago and I plan to be unrecognizable a year from writing these words today. I have created a list of four attributes that I have witnessed in the great leaders I have served. I hope you will find useful this first volume of lessons I have learned and observed in the foxhole of leadership. The 4 attributes you find here will hopefully provide you a road map for reinvention and help you discover a new and exciting time of systematic growth.
The 4 Attributes:
1) Action- Being the Lightning that starts the fire, the Activator a. You must provide Vision b. You must be willing and able to Blaze the Trail c. You must be able to take inventory and by Assessing your People and Your Tools
2) Drive- Having your finger on the proverbial trigger of Execution a. You must place People and Assets in the right place b. You must be willing to Cultivate Consensus c. You must have a relentless resolve to see the initiative succeed
3) Disciple- Transforming People and Organizations, Proselytizing a. You must get to know your people well and Intertwine the Global Vision to their Vision b. You must Asses their personal goals and business goals c. You must pour into your people weekly/ daily
4) Sell – Transforming Employees into Ambassadors a. You must possess Passion as it is the most contagious of Relational Elements b. You must Listen to your people as if your business depends on it……..it does! c. You must Relate to your people. They will follow you if you can tie their dreams to yours d. You must convert them to Ambassadors by first being an Ambassador for them.
Remember this: The sculpting process never ends and if one is willing to continuously commit to reinvention, the person can truly become a leader who can move mountains and inspire the masses.
Are you committed to the Pursuit of Excellence in Leadership?