No matter what degree of experience you have, or what level you are in the organization, you may have a desire to have more, do more, and be more. Here’s what you can do to chart a course for leadership success.
- Assess the attitude you have about being a leader. There is no perfect leader, and you need to realize that most leaders are not born, they are made. Some people have more natural talent than others, but the world is filled with people in all walks of life who leveraged little talent into enormous success. In leadership, as well as other endeavors, the first step is believing that you have the same opportunity regardless of your past or present circumstances.
- Realize that leadership isn’t about title or position. It’s about influencing others to do things and inspiring them to really want to do them. You can have impact at any level if you apply your presence, credibility, and communication skills to the issue at hand.
- Establish a starting point for where you want to go. Like any journey, charting your course requires knowing where you are starting. Where are you? Even extremely experienced people need to establish a baseline of the current status when they engage in a change. Otherwise, it’s difficult to realize the progress you’ve made which is ultimately demotivating.
- Define where you want to be and what you want to become. Start with aspirations and objectives and eventually break those down into goals. A critical element of this target is it has to be truly yours, and it has to be something you really, really, really, really, really want to achieve. Don’t waste your time on empty promises to yourself, especially those that fulfill someone else’s expectations rather than your own.
- Set out your plans and goals in written format where you can revisit them regularly. Be flexible enough to make necessary modifications along the way as long as those don’t stray from your ultimate objective. Stay focused on your activities long enough to make sure you give them a full opportunity to blossom into what you truly want. Many people abandon their journey too soon, not knowing that ultimate success is right around the corner.
- Share your aspirations and goals with someone else. We are all more willing to break commitments we make to ourselves than those we make to other people. And an outside perspective can be both a source of encouragement when you’re down or need a kick in the pants when you’re falling behind.
The path to leadership success is not an easy one. However, if you do it right, it is your own. Be prepared to learn some things along the way that you never expected. If you are open, you may realize that the process of establishing and following the course you’ve charted is the real definition of success, even if you never reach the initial destination you targeted.