It is not easy the most of the time to lead your way, within the obstacles and challenges, life puts in front you. It needs a special character and an inflexible type of resolution, to move forward, following your “true north“. It needs for you, to have made your decisions, and keep on navigating towards their implementation.
Why You Should Lead Your Way
In order to keep on doing what you have to do, in the face of advert situations and under the realization that some of your decisions, might impact the life of many more people (not just yours), truly needs leadership skills! It is not, only or just, about, you, you know. But most of the people does not seem to realize that. As John Donne have said:
No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as any manner of thy friends or of thine own were; any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind. And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee. (MEDITATION XVII Devotions upon Emergent Occasions, John Donne)
Everything and everyone connected! Especially, now in the face of a world’s interconnected economy.
Lead A Way Or Lead Your Way
Once upon a time, a business associate of mine, manager and group leader in a large company (one of the best ones in his fields, as everyone say so, at the time!) he had said: “It’s my way, or no way”, replying to a very legitimate question, his team have done, for a project! And, of course, he was wrong. Because, he was trying to answer a leadership question as a manager. And because of that, respond as a manager.
There is a huge difference between leadership and management, differences, my associate fails to recognize, an essential difference between the two states of being and action! And these differences, signify the difference in response modes, you should have, assuming the one or the other role.
As Stephen Covey, pointed out:
Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall. (Stephen Covey)
Lead Your Way, Starting On The Right Foot
So how, you can make possible, to lead your way. There are angles and approaches to follow! But there are no shortcuts. It needs time, energy, efforts and beyond-the-course-of-normal-operations activities; it needs guts and focused activities; it needs groups, relationships, mentor, friends, a supporting family; it needs autonomy and sufficiency; it needs YOU! All of you! Not a slice of time, or a little bit of this or that. In order to lead your way, you need full determination, resolution and commitment to your goals! And sharp focus determination, intended reflections and controlled responses.
More above, it needs time, determination and resources. And the ingenuity and intuitive improvisation! As Stephen Covey, once, has said:
Every human has four endowments – self awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom… The power to choose, to respond, to change. (Stephen Covey)
For these reasons, if you want to lead your way, you have to:
- To have define who you are and what you want from you life. Not in an abstract way. But in a very vivid, real, measurable way! A way that can “feedback” you when you have meet the landmarks you have set and how far you are from their achievement.
- Know your Environment, know where, how, where and with which way you should operate. You should always be aware of the rules of the game and what exactly the game you are involved in, is!
- Acknowledge the impact of your actions, to yourself and the others!
- Define, measure and accept what have to be the gain, and what have to be lost in the process.
- Determine your course of action, based on your core values and principle, in order to be content and happy, later on, with your decisions.
- Build a life plan, appropriate for your further course of action and determine the objectives, landmarks, time to be devoted, etc, for its implementation. Yes, you need a strategy and tactics and logistics in order to achieve what you want. Without available resources is difficult to reach your goals. If you do not have the resources you have to develop them or find them along your way!
- Break down your life plan. In small, manageable packages of activities and task, that would aligned you to your core activities, bind you further with your goals and diminish the many things might distract you.
- Invest in yourself, in every situation, opportunity and challenge you might have, in order to become a better person and a better professional!
- Review frequent (and make the necessary amendments in your schedules, plans, priorities, etc, if needed).
- When you reach a milestone or objective, review its implementation, learn what you can from the why’s and the how’s of this particular instance and proceed with the next one in your task list!
You can lead your way, but first you should find it. As well as your passion, objectives and the ways (decisions, small drawbacks, tun-overs, consensus, yes and no’s, values, principles, limits, strengths, talents, skills, attitudes, styles, etc) that would lead you there.
Question: Do your think, you can lead your way?