Successful leaders forget to invest in themselves; exceptional leaders make it their number one priority.
I am no exception to this rule.
Leaders have significant responsibilities and multiple demands on their time. Many have achieved rapid success beyond their wildest dreams. Some plateau while others continue to accelerate their impact and success. What sets those exceptional leaders apart from the crowd? - The answer is how much they are willing to invest in themselves and continue to experiment.
When I launched my business I realized I needed expert help, so I invested in a mentor who could help me with the business side of my business. Libby Wagner, a poet, author and speaker, provides me with real time support in areas I was unfamiliar or uncomfortable with. The investment I made in Libby has shown exponential returns and I continue to learn with every conversation. When I share this story with some of the leaders that I coach, they are surprised that I have a mentor; but why wouldn't I? Everyone can accelerate their results and impact, you just have to be willing to reflect, listen and act.
My mentorship is part of the community of Alan Weiss, the Rockstar of Consulting who has written over 50 books and 500 articles on the subject. Right now, I am returning from the Million Dollar Consulting Mentor Summit, where Alan Weiss brought together his world wide mentor community for reflection, connection and learning. In Kiawah Island, SC, I joined an elite gathering of some of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world. They are thought leaders in their fields of expertise and have both financial success and discretionary time many would envy; yet they continue to learn, grow and invest in their personal development. I have learned so much this week, which will accelerate the success of my business.
In my conversations this week with this elite group of thought leaders, I realized there are four common characteristics of exceptional leaders, which spans any industry or profession:
1 - Curiosity
Successful leaders can appear arrogant, their past achievements can create a bubble around them if they don't keep striving for improvement, meanwhile the world passes them by. Curiosity requires an open mind, a willingness to consider different views and a genuine interest in learning. Be curious, ask questions, seek to understand others and identify who you can learn from.
2 - Generosity
Exceptional leaders are generous with their advice, feedback and praise. I love learning from others and sharing my lessons. Dedicating time to share the journey that brought you success will pave the way for others to follow you. Exceptional leaders are thoughtful and deliberate about teaching other and giving appropriate kudos.
3 - Reflective
Even when you are running fast and making bold gargantuan decisions, you have to dedicate time for reflection and self assessment. You will set yourself apart from the crowd by creating opportunities for considering how you can accelerate your impact and results. Find someone you can reflect with; a trusted colleague or hire a coach.
4 - Passionate
You have to love what you do and have the awareness to know when you are in your zone of happiness. Exceptional leaders orchestrate their work and support system so they are most inspired and motivated. Everyone I met this week was in their favorite job of their lives, creating dramatic results and loving their work. Can you say the same about your work today?
Rate yourself against the four characteristics above using this scale:
- Superpower - It comes naturally.
- Energy Sapper - I can do it, but it takes effort and deliberate attention.
- Danger Zone - Others do this much better.
I advise the leaders that I coach to take credit for your Superpowers, develop a plan to practice your Energy Sappers and your Danger Zone areas are areas we spend more time and attention to correct.
What is the first step you could take tomorrow to improve?
If you want to discuss how this applies to your own leadership call me today on 206 321 7511 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org