What the bleep is my Leadership Potential and the easy how to..
How to Develop Your Leadership Potential
You cannot change your life until you change something you do every day. By learning the laws and then living them, you will be on your way to reaching your potential. If you keep learning and growing every day over the course of many years, you will be astounded by how far it will take you.”
~ John C. Maxwell from The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth
After the momentum of the beginning of January, the resolutions and back to work, the end of Jan can be a quiet, stark time of year. It seems to be designed for reflecting upon what has gone and what’s yet to come. In the stillness a lot of us can be feeling like we’re on a rat wheel, while we may be moving, are we making progress?
Whilst I was considering my own personal growth, I wondered when I started on this particular journey in my twenties, had I really been aware of how long it would be, how hard it would be and by times how little headway I would make?
Do I actually know what my potential is? More importantly still, how long will it take me to get there?
This applies to our journeys as leaders also. At The Complete Leader Programme Ireland, we focus on the 4 qualities necessary for Leadership Excellence;
Clear Thinking, Leading Yourself, Leading Others and Authenticity.
Ultimately the programme is designed for you to identify and develop the leadership skills necessary to elevate your leadership to higher levels. This leads to sustainable Behavioural Change and paradigm shifts which translates to more effective performance organisationally and personally.
In our blogs we want you to experience a little of what we’re about to motivate and inspire you into action. John C Maxwell one of the world’s top Leadership experts and author of The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth says that if you want to reach your potential you must grow and in order to do this you must be highly intentional about it. (Law #1).
When he realised that personal growth was a lifetime goal, he says it helped him to turn the question around. Instead of asking how long will this take, he suggests asking ‘how far can I go?’.
Obviously there still isn’t a clear answer but it helps you set the direction for your Leadership potential. You need to get clear and have a visible target. Change begins with Awareness. (Law #2).
Ask yourself the questions:
- Where am I going in life?
- What’s my direction?
- How far can I possibly go?
When you look in the mirror see where you add value, believe in yourself. You must limit comparing yourself to others and stop negative self talk. Practise putting your hand up when you start thinking negatively to send a strong physical cue to yourself to stop doing this once. (Law #3 – Law of the Mirror).
‘Your mission is to become better today than you were yesterday’.
Peter Drucker says “Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.” And Maxwell calls it The Law of reflection, we must slow down, pause and allow growth to catch up with us. (Law #4).
A really big idea for the new year is the one of Consistency. We all had great motivation for the first week or ten days in January, but how about now-can we keep this motivation going? Discipline is the answer. For great tips, see our last blog on Self Discipline.
Maxwell says consistency is the key for personal growth. At a seminar he attended many years ago, in his session entitled ‘Do it now’ W. Clement Stone spoke about the importance of having a ‘sense of urgency’. After the session Maxwell went home and for six months every morning and evening he said ‘Do it now’ fifty times. It gave him a ‘tremendous sense of urgency’. (Try it now! Law #5 – Law of Consistency).
“Anyone who does what he must only when he is in the mood or when it’s convenient isn’t going to be successful. The secret is following through.” ~ John C. Maxwell.
I know this one resonates. Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments and that bridge must be crossed every day. Yes every day. Every single day. Then the discipline of crossing over becomes a habit. We do not decide our future, we decide our habits and our habits decide our future. George Lorimer said, “You’ve got to get up every morning with determination if you’re going to go to bed with satisfaction.
Ask yourself the questions:
- What’s one thing I need to start doing today that if practised consistently will have the most positive impact on my life/leadership?
- Or what needs to go? What is my kryptonite? What do I need to stop doing today to have the most positive impact on my life/leadership?
“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily.”
Every accomplishment we have is not in isolation but as a result of someone else’s efforts. If we can remind ourselves of this, we will always be grateful and always be humble. Maxwell believes that character growth determines the height of your Personal Growth.
At the beginning of the blog, I mentioned this impatience to have reached our Personal Growth goal already. Maxwell believes it’s normal for us to want things to come to us quickly and easily. He says that the secret is not this but to put more time and attention into what you can do and have now. In fact he recommends giving three times more effort and energy into growing yourself than you are now!
This allows us he says to grow slowly but with deep roots. If we compare a tree that grows this way it produces fruit for decades or longer, survives storms and snow. A tomato plant on the other hand grows in a few weeks, produces fruit for days or weeks and then dies with the first blast of frost. We need to be invested for the long run to maximise our results. (Law #7 – Law of Design).
How could you put 3 x times more effort and energy into growing yourself -Leadership Potential?
The bottom line is you can’t do everything, there are only 24 hours in a day. At some point you will reach your limit. Sacrifice is the essence of strategy. In chess, a sacrifice is a move giving up a piece with the objective of gaining tactical or positional compensation in other forms. The question is: Are we aware of the trades offs we’re making and are they consistent with our deepest values and highest aspirations? (law #11 – the Law of Trade offs).
Turn ‘Can I?’ into ‘How Can I?’. You can always do more, instead of asking ‘can I?’, ask ‘how can I?’. This assumes there is an answer to any problem that exists. (Law #14 – Law of Expansion).
When you want something you have never had (in your life) you must do something you have never done to get it. Otherwise you keep getting the same results’ – John C. Maxwell
Reaching your leadership potential does not come automatically. It requires you to be bold, to work hard, to remain humble, to make sacrifices, to reflect, to stay out of your comfort zone, be disciplined and follow your plan.
At the end of the day your life shouldn’t centre on on your personal growth- as a leader you should focus on how you can contribute to helping others around you. (Law # 15 – The Law of contribution).
Benjamin Franklin began each day by asking, “What good shall I do today?” He ended each day with this question: “What good have I done today?”
“Life is now in session. Are you present?” If you are hungry to be a better leader, to reach your leadership potential and leave a lasting legacy, don’t hesitate to contact us at 01 662 4316 or visit The Complete Leader Ireland
The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth. Philosophers Notes. www.Optimize.me
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- First step to being a leader is knowing yourself. If you don’t understand yourself how can you understand others? Learn to understand others better.
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- Identify what leadership competencies you are strong in and where you can improve.