7 Practices for Leading From Within
Whether you are leading an organization, leading yourself or you are leading your family, this article shares 7 effective practices for leading from within.
All leadership begins from within and extends outward. Likewise, no one will see you as a leader until you see yourself as one. Nor will people fully value your skill, expertise, time and potential, unless you do. The truth is that no one on this planet has the same combination of talent, skill, passion, and personal and professional experience as you do. That means, only YOU can do what you do and how you do it. Don’t sell yourself short by second-guessing the value you bring or doubting your ability to lead yourself and others to ultimate success.
In the past few years leaders have been presented with a new set of challenges as businesses have been hit hard with a talent crunch, a generational shift, and an economic downturn, and that’s all on top of the usual 21st century challenges of globalization, innovation, and technology. Leaders must rise to the challenge. To do so successfully, they must learn to not only lead their organizations, but also lead themselves. They must learn to practice personal leadership.Leaders must not only lead their organizations. They must also lead themselves. Click To Tweet
Personal leadership is the ability to define a direction for your life and leadership, and to move in that direction with consistency and clarity. When you practice personal leadership, you “lead from the ‘inside out.’”
Here are 7 practices for leading from within in life and business:
#1: Get clarity
What do you want? Getting clarity means being able to connect clearly and instantly to your long- and short-term vision. In business, this practice often equates to setting a company vision. Your vision will change as you change. Getting clarity ensures you make decisions consistent with your vision and mission. Clarity is critical to being able to articulate your vision to others. Once you have clarity, it’s easier to keep your passion alive, align your beliefs with your vision and the more likely it is you’ll take consistent action.
#2: Uncover your blind spots
We all have blind spots preventing us from seeing where we fall short or keep ourselves playing small. One of the biggest reasons it’s hard for us to see our own blind spots is because we see everything through the lens of our intention. We give ourselves the benefit of the doubt. We generally see others solely through their actions. We don’t know what we don’t know until we know we don’t know it.
#3: Find focus
Pay attention to where you’re putting your focus and energy. When you find focus, you fix your attention on top priorities even when the world around you is pulling you away. In business, focus shows up in the form of a strategic plan. The strategic plan makes it possible for everyone in an organization to see in a single document the vision, mission, goals, strategies and so on of an organization so they can all can stay on the same page. Stop chasing bright, shiny objects!
#4: Take effective action
Have you ever spent a whole day busy at work, only to end it wondering if you actually got anything done? You can stop spinning your wheels and start driving with direction, quickly, easily, and with time to spare. Action items are the language of productivity in organizations, but as a leader you need more than a task list. You need to practice the mindsets and approaches to decision-making that help you take only the most effective actions and leave the rest behind. In his research for the book Good to Great, Jim Collins found this kind of results-oriented commitment to action to be one of the hallmarks of leadership in successful organizations. Having witnessed the “the quiet, dogged nature” of effective leaders, he concludes, “Disciplined action without disciplined thought is a recipe for disaster.”
#5: Tap into your brilliance
Simply put, find out what’s your unique blueprint…your zone of genius. In an effort to grow human capital, organizational leaders are constantly trying to attract and retain talent. This practice captures the spirit of what author and former Gallup researcher Marcus Buckingham (Now, Discover Your Strengths and Go, Put Your Strengths to Work) calls “a strengths approach” to leadership. The philosophy is that we are at our best when we are aligned with our strengths.
Based on Gallup’s 40 year study of human strengths as described in Tom Rath’s StrengthsFinder 2.0, “People who have the opportunity to focus on their strengths every day are six times as likely to be engaged in their jobs and more than three times as likely to report having an excellent quality of life in general.
#6: Build your legacy
In order to be most effective, you get to discover what drives you – your values, meaning and purpose – so that you feel fulfilled.
Stephen Covey wrote, “Deep within each one of us there is an inner longing to live a life of greatness and contribution – to really matter, to really make a difference.” Bolman and Deal, authors of Leading with Soul, agree: “Each of us has a special contribution to make if we can shoulder the personal and spiritual work needed to discover and take responsibility for our own gifts.
Understanding your values, what’s really important to you, helps you know how you want to serve others. When you connect with this, you connect with your divine self.
#7: Develop and LISTEN to your intuition
It may surprise you to see intuition in a leadership related article. One of the biggest things I’ve learned in 25 years of leadership experience is that one of my chief assets is my internal guidance system. Leadership is a little bit of science and a little bit of art. Balancing both facts and feelings has always served me well…always. Leadership and intuition go hand in hand. This is so important, I’m writing a book on the topic.
I truly believe that the biggest hurdles we face exist inside our own heads – our fears of failing, our fears of success, our fears of the unknown and countless others things. We must dare to live our lives full out. Here’s a video I recorded recently about the Law of Energy and Mindset: https://youtu.be/V8KShYW7_l8
If you are ready to:
1. Rise above your internal chatter and the crap that keeps you playing small AND
2. Lead your business like the “Rockstar” CEO you know you are AND
3. Create a culture of highly engaged employees and loyal/raving clients AND
4. Save time, money and countless brain cells stressing over how to lead, manage, grow and succeed in business AND
5. Take imperfect action
JOIN me for the Leadership Rockstar Group Coaching Program starting Monday, May 22nd, 2017. It’s the only program of its kind that integrates mindset, leadership, hiring, culture, and legacy in one place. You get live coaching with me every step of the way.
If you want to be a ROCKSTAR LEADER… a LEGACY LEADER… register HERE and let’s get started!