Leading Yourself Part III: Self-Improvement
“Everyone wins when a leader gets better.” –Bill Hybels
I’ve always loved this quote because it highlights the importance of leaders taking the time to get better. To look at themselves first. To improve. To grow. And when they do, other people get better, teams become stronger, and organizations become more effective. This should be the aspiration of every leader, but unfortunately it’s not.
SET THE EXAMPLE
When leaders commit to getting better, they set an example for others to follow. If you have taken the time to conduct an honest assessment of your current situation, explained in stage two, then you are on the right track toward becoming a better leader. However, it cannot stop there. You must be willing to take the next step, which is a commitment to self-improvement. This is all about taking a few deliberate and intentional steps to build upon your strengths and correct any weaknesses.
KNOW WHAT TO CHANGE
What can you focus on in the next 30, 60, and 90 days that will have a significant impact on the way that you lead? The key here is to focus. All too often, leaders try to do too many things at once, and in the process they don’t accomplish anything. Less is more. Attempt to achieve a few meaningful objectives, not a long list. In doing so, you will gain confidence and momentum to build upon.
COMMIT TO ACTION
The desire for self-improvement is a good thing, but desire without action is just desire. So after getting focused, the key in this stage of the self-leadership development process is to act, to implement. Oftentimes action does not occur for various reasons—procrastination, excuses, fear, lack of conviction, to name a few. But if you are going to improve as a leader, then a commitment to decisive action is non-negotiable. Otherwise it’s just talk!
So what will you do in this pivotal stage? Will you set the example by taking deliberate action to improve yourself in specific areas, or will you allow excuses to keep you from doing what is necessary to get better?
Choose to be a leader who leads yourself with excellence, and others will follow your lead.
“Decide upon your major definite purpose in life and then organize all your activities around it.” — Brian Tracy
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” — Mark Twain
“Be willing to make decisions. That’s the most important quality in a good leader. Don’t fall victim to what I call the ready-aim-aim-aim-aim syndrome. You must be willing to fire.” — T. Boone Pickens