If you aren’t improving you aren’t standing still you are in fact moving backward. There are many reasons a person who has entered a leadership position starts moving backward. The feeling of “I’ve arrived” is usually top of the list. Another would be a result of a title they may have been given that causes them to think they know best or they no longer need to learn. Whatever the reason, if you allow this to happen you will become obsolete as a leader.
Staying at the edge of excellence has a high time opportunity cost but the reward is well worth it. Your leadership style should develop as your grow and should adapt to reflect what works best for your current team and environment.
The following 6 areas will help you stay on the edge of excellence in leadership:
High self-awareness results in higher self-confidence. Self-awareness is built upon the foundation of self-reflection, self-assessments and continuous feedback from those you lead and those you trust will tell you the truth that will help you grow. Spend time daily, weekly, monthly to reflect, assess and receive feedback.
Mental agility determines how quickly and easily you can think, draw conclusions then execute on the necessary adjustments needed in a given situation. Honing your mental agility allows you to recognize when a course change is needed before it becomes critical. A leader who develops a high level of mental agility is able to lead a team toward success and stay ahead of the competition.
Leaders need to control their composure especially when the going gets tough. Act as an anchor in the face of uncertainty and keep your team laser focused on the goals and tasks at hand. When your composure slips you feed into the fears and anxiety of your team slowing down progress. Always stand strong in the face of adversity.
Step outside your comfort zone
A leader should always strive to go outside of their comfort zone. It is outside of your comfort level that you learn immensely more than if you were to remain in a place where your comfort level is high. Don’t be afraid of failure; put yourself out there because that is where the magic happens.
Build a leadership bench
Meaningfully engaging individual team members into your vision will establish a benchmark for success and develop a leadership bench. Having a well-established leadership bench will allow you to quickly and easily move on to new opportunities and position your organization to take more risks in innovation because there will be capable people ready to lead and execute those innovations.
Go beyond the job description
Learn when to recognize that a team member’s responsibilities aren’t determined by their job description. Get in touch with their passion and continuously give them opportunities to operate within that passion zone. When people are operating in an area where their passion burns there is no stopping them. They go beyond delivering and inspire others to do the same.
The domino effect that you happen as you use these tactics helps you and the team you lead stay on the edge of excellence. Stay fresh, stay brilliant and stay hungry in your pursuit of leadership.
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