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.

Relevant Quotes:

“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

How Will You Lead This Year?

Every new year presents an opportunity for you as a leader to reflect on the past year and evaluate what you accomplished, how you’ve grown, and who you’ve influenced. But more importantly, it’s an opportunity to renew your commitment to being a leader who makes a positive difference in the lives of other people.

So as you enter this new year, determine how you will lead:

  • Will you inspire, or will you discourage?
  • Will you elevate others, or will you hold them down?
  • Will you share your knowledge, or will you keep it all to yourself?
  • Will you create a healthy work environment, or will you allow dysfunction and discord to exist?
  • Will you take action, or will you just talk about what you’re going to do?
  • Will you have the courage to take risks, or will you only do what is comfortable and safe?
  • Will you release the potential in your team, or will you keep them from growing?
  • Will you focus on what is best for the organization, or will you focus on what is best for you?

Leadership is about intentional influence, but more than anything leadership is a choice. You must choose the type of leader you are going to be—the type of leader that people want to follow, or the type that focuses more on his position that his people.

Make this year your best year of leading yet! The choice is up to you.

 

 

Servant Leaders Are Courageous

I believe that in order to be a true servant leader, you must demonstrate courage in the way that you lead yourself and others. In my most recent post for Lead Like Jesus, I discuss this concept and explain why it is so essential for effective leadership in any setting.

You can read my latest post by clicking HERE. Enjoy!

Servant Leaders Inspire & Transform

This month I am guest-blogging for Lead Like Jesus on the seven distinct behaviors that servant leaders demonstrate on a consistent basis. My first post on the importance of servant leadership can be read at the Lead Like Jesus blog. Take a moment to check it out and let me know what you think. Read it HERE.

Why You Need a Strategic Plan

Who What Why When Where Signpost Showing Confusion Brainstorming And ResearchWhether you run a corporation, small business, non-profit, or a church, you need a strategic plan. Why? Because it serves as a guide for the future, keeps team members focused on doing the things that matter most, and enables the organization to be intentional about pursuing its overall vision and mission.

An effective strategic plan serves three core purposes:

1)      It provides direction. If you are going to inspire action and passion in your organization, then as a leader you must determine the direction and priorities of the organization. Nothing is more uninspiring to employees than being part of a company or team that lacks a clear vision for the future. People need to know where the organization is going and what role they play.

2)      It creates alignment. Once you have established direction, the next component of the strategic plan is to align all of the activities within the organization toward the vision and strategic goals. It is very possible that you have a number of very good initiatives and activities taking place at any given time, but it does not mean that those endeavors all serve the purpose and vision of the organization. A good strategic plan organizes and brings everything under one roof to ensure maximum efficiency and effectiveness. Remember, if everything is important, then nothing is important.

3)      It clarifies the allocation of resources. Lastly, a strategic plan will help you clarify how to allocate resources and achieve the long-term vision and goals of the organization. When you establish clear direction and create alignment, you will then be able to better allocate personnel, time, and financial resources toward the achievement of the organization’s goals and vision. The ultimate result is greater impact.

Organizational leaders engage in the strategic planning process in a number of different ways and for varied time frames. Although the approach to strategic planning is important for ensuring quality and effectiveness, of most importance is actually doing a plan in the first place. Do you currently have a strategic plan? If not, now is a great time to begin the process.

For help with strategic planning, visit www.couchconsult.com/strategic-planning

Also, watch this short video for more insights on strategic planning: