How well are you tracking in your leadership journey? Ouch. That’s a tough question, isn’t it. Sometimes I just get slapped in the face as I contemplate my lack of progress in different areas. I have concluded that we have to assess and plan to avoid the pain of inaction.
The Battle For Positivity
It can be a battle to reduce negativity. It’s not so much that you have a negative thought or temptation to take a negative action. The battle for positivity begins in your mind. You are not a victim of circumstance – you do have power and control over negative thoughts and responses.
Have I done a good job defining a positive culture with clear principles and values? I think there’s room for me to improve. As a leader, it’s my job to establish an expectation of positive belief and practice. You don’t get to just tell people “be positive.” You have to demonstrate the value that results from people adopting this norm in your team, department or organization. That’s a key word: demonstrate!
A Plan For The Future
Most people work in an organization where a vision is documented. Maybe you feel like there is something your team is aware of. Can team members state it? It must be repeated. It’s likely that your team members haven’t heard it enough! It must be reinforced and communicated until you think no one can handle hearing it one more time!
I recognize that I don’t take enough time to talk about the future with my team. It’s my job as a leader to communicate that to team members one-on-one. If I don’t, how can I expect individuals to take any personal meaning from it? Or how will they contribute to it without my being clear about where we are headed?
Developing A Personal Vision
The one that really challenged me? The question of whether I have a personal vision that inspires me. It’s too easy to adopt a team or organization’s vision in place of creating one for yourself. There’s a problem with this though: it’s your personal vision that inspires you! If you aren’t inspired each day, it’s going to be difficult to remain positive. don’t overlook the need for you to have a personal vision.
Another realization for me was that no matter what’s going on in the environment, I must convey a positive expectation, an optimistic expectation, that we will progress through even the difficult circumstances. I’m the thermometer for the team!
Don’t Ignore The Killer: Negativity
One of the most challenging aspects of leadership is recognizing the detrimental nature of negativity. It has the potential to derail an organization and render it’s most effective team members useless. Negativity is an energy drain. You can’t afford to just ignore negativity or working around it. It’s an aggressive position to address or confront it and then transform it. don’t allow it to exist under the surface! It’s up to the leader to paint a picture of the strength and success that the team will experience as a result of addressing it!
Do you have a vision? Do you know what you want? Not just one for the team or for the organization. What do you want for you? Do you have a purpose? Can you say that you understand why you want that?
Most of us are uncomfortable with the thought of not progressing. We want improvement! In our relationships, in our jobs, in our influence. I know you want to make progress or you wouldn’t even be listening to this episode. An assessment is a great tool: it provides a point in time picture of your position. There’s a HUGE challenge with this though: if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.
Knowing that you want to improve isn’t sufficient. You have to combine a plan with your assessment of your current position. This hit me like a ton of bricks. I’ve provided you with lots of content over the last 18 months. One thing I haven’t talked about in detail? Creating a plan to get you toward a future position. This is critical stuff and I didn’t intentionally gloss over it. Truthfully, it’s the painful part of growth that many people avoid and the reason why most stay stuck in inaction.
Create Your Vision
Because these podcasts are meant to be digestible, I’m not going to examine the minutiae of creating a vision for your life. There are lots of great, free resources online that can help you do that. I want to encourage to take the limits off, whatever they might be. Dream a little and consider where you want to go. Where is this road going to take you? What do you want from the life that remains for you to live? Who’s there with you? What measurable impact are you leaving? You have a higher purpose. This vision is a guide (think of it like the fiery pillar that led the Israelites by night when they were in the wilderness). It gives direction to your action.
As I said, it’s not just a vision for your work. It’s for your life, for your family, for your health, and for your team. So think about some of those points on the assessment. Where could a concrete vision help you determine the next action you need to take? Think about it and don’t just leave it to luck. Create your vision and I’ll share a couple more tips with you next week on how to support it so you can avoid the pain of inaction!
Resources Mentioned In This Episode:
Jon Gordon’s free Positive Leadership assessment tool
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