No matter how well you’re doing and how many skills you’ve acquired, you may not be fully living up to your leadership potential.
If you suspect that you have untapped potential but you’re not sure how to reach it, start by working to discover what’s standing in your way so you can put yourself back on track to being the leader you know you can be.
If you don’t know yourself: Self-understanding is critical to growth. If you want to understand, motivate and inspire others, you have to begin with yourself. Hire a coach or find a mentor who can help you define your strengths, your gaps, and your style of leadership. All of us have gold hidden within, but we have to dig to get it out.
If you’re self-centered: Top leaders spend much of their time thinking of others and finding ways to support them, coach them, mentor them and develop them. Great leadership consists largely of believing in others and helping them become great. If you aren’t already doing that, you need to take the focus off yourself. Start cultivating your empathy and devoting more of your time and energy to those around you.
if your mindset is negative: Left unchallenged, negativity becomes weakness of character. It’s important to keep your outlook positive. Remember that thoughts become actions, actions become behavior and behavior becomes habit—and your habits play a huge role in achieving your potential. A positive mindset is the mark of a superior outlook.
If you play it safe: As I’ve seen many times over with my clients, few things will stall out your growth potential more completely than constantly playing it safe. Getting yourself unstuck means having the nerve to take risks and make hard decisions when they’re needed. And ironically, playing it safe is one of the riskiest things you can do. To reach your top potential you will have to face your fear and do what you need to do in spite of it.
If you don’t know and live by your values: People don’t become great inspirations or really great anythings just because they’re ambitious or committed to success; they become great because they hold clearly defined values and align everything they do to those values. When you understand your own values and priorities and you commit to them, you gain the authority of authenticity and everything else falls into place. Hard decisions become easier and the people around you become your priority. Knowing and living your values is the key to great mindsets, greeter days and most of all great understanding and grace.
Lead from within: The willingness to learn, the desire to risk, the urge to reach your full potential—these are the keys that will unlock the door to your personal excellence. The best mindsets begin by understanding themselves and finding the gaps they need to fill. They work on their own gaps and attitudes, and over time they come to realize that purpose is about serving others while you better yourself.
Peace and Love, Jim