Leaders aren’t born. They’re made.
Don’t buy into the myth: “leaders are born.”
You might say “of course I don’t … who does?!”, when thinking objectively. But check your beliefs. Check your language. How often do we say or think “she’s a natural-born leader” – or similar? How often do we say “they’ve just got something”.
And what does that tell us about our core beliefs around leadership? And what resources and opportunities would such belief systems limit our access to? So let’s say it again: High Performance Leaders aren’t born. They’re made.
They didn’t start out that way; they’re worked on it.
- Where “it” are specific ways of thinking, ways of doing and ways of being that elevated them to high-performance leadership. (As distinct from simply “leadership”.)
- And where the “work” was committed, focused, diligent and consistent.
3 words to fuel your high performance leadership
I like to challenge my high-performing leadership clients to set themselves 3 golden words that will fuel the pursuit of their next level of leadership. And as they work to achieve their own brand of success, I invite them to play these 3 words into EVERYTHING they do.
This works wonders because: it’s short, snappy and simply – aka brain-friendly! It engenders consistency over time (a hallmark of “high performance” definitions). And it helps any- and every-thing get started – and with INTENTION.
Your 3 words will be better than mine – you’re the expert in you. So set your own. And to get you thinking, here are my 3 golden words:
I know if I look after just these 3 elements in ANY pursuit, I’ll achieve high-performance quicker, more profoundly – and with far-less stress.
4 simple practices for high performance leadership
I have seen many practices come together to generate high performance leadership. Here are 4 to get the ball rolling:
#1. Slow down.
- It’s all-too-easy to get swept-up in the workload, the details, the overwhelm and the frustration. And when we’re thrashing about, we’re not leading.
- So however busy things get, know there is always opportunity to take a breath and simply slow down. Your check that you’re going slow enough: that you know you’re working on the right thing at the right time.
#2. Focus on fundamentals.
- We take a lot for granted. So check yourself and consciously attach significant importance to the fundamentals.
- Make a list of your fundamentals. Start with hygiene factors: safety, health, energy, etc.. And then think about work: you, your team and your business. What are the fundamentals? Trust? Respect? Punctuality? Quality output? Candid feedback? Get you and your team insanely good at the basics.
#3. Don’t have discipline. Use discipline.
- When I introduce the idea of discipline to the majority of my clients, the thought is for “willpower”. I need to will these things to happen. But that’s a misunderstanding of discipline. Think instead of discipline equalling “systems”.
- When discipline is at fault, think not that you’re missing some inner strength; but that you’re missing the right routine.
#4. Know your purpose.
- We can spin our cognitive wheels for an age looking for “purpose”. If that’s a thought that’s keeping you stuck, drop it. And instead, think of purpose as “knowing what to come back to.” That’s a more useful definition of “purpose” for leaders.
- Our days are riddled with distractions. So: know your purpose (which is to say: “know what to come back to). And then you can relax into your high performance leadership, knowing you can never be knocked permanently off-track.
Lead from the front
Leadership is a way of being. And there’s nothing more motivational for teams than to see their leader being a high-performance leader. Of adopting specific and impactful practices, consistently and over the long term.
What practices do you need to adopt to make you a High Performance Leader?