Over the course of the last several years I’ve had the absolute honour of meeting with and learning from hundreds, if not thousands of leaders. Every time I meet with one of these Inspiring Leaders, and they begin to share their insights to how they SHINE, you will often see a smile creep across my face. It’s very much like the moment you just learned your best friend is getting married. You had suspicions, you saw the signs, but didn’t want to jinx it by saying anything. The same goes when I meet incredible leaders; I never assume I know the answers nor do I assume I have any insights into someone else’s career until I begin to see it through their lens. There are a couple of traits that are common in all these world-class leaders.
The first one that I would like to reflect upon and share is responsibility. The countless leaders that I have met make the choice to take responsibility for creating their life. They know that the most successful way to repeat, scale, and drive exponential growth, in anything either personally or professionally, is to take responsibility. They are acutely self-aware, and understand how to pay attention to their own bodies and minds, and as such they build their day and behaviours around that.
Inspiring Leaders take the responsibility to:
1. Create their own happiness, and control their own energy. SHINE inspiring leaders are over achievers and over achieving at happiness is no exception. They believe that happiness is a choice, and one in which is never left to chance. They build and plan happiness into their day.
· Many begin the day by filling their tank; a run, meditation, reading, spending time with their loved ones, kicking off their day engaging with their team. They begin their day with a full tank of energy as they know that as the choices in the day tally up and the numerous encounters and activities throughout the day will begin to burn some of that fuel in the tank.
· Others have rituals that they perform or mementos that are triggers to stimulate an energy shift. This may include purposeful moments of reflection and gratitude to draw upon happy and successful moments in the day. It’s a tactic to re-focus and make the choice to think about something happy. It’s grounded in the adage that what you focus on will be where you go. When you drive down the highway at night and stare directly at the lights of an oncoming vehicle, you will begin to drive toward those lights.
· The key is for them is to periodically check the fuel gauge and ensure that they’re running with an adequate level of fuel.
2. Achieve goals. This is a broad statement, however is common across all leaders. SHINE Inspiring Leaders are not expecting others to carry them to the next milestone, throw money at them, nor blame anyone (that includes blaming themselves) for not getting them to their goals. There is no finger pointing from these leaders.
· They will absolutely find a way.
· They will seek insights and expertise from others, as they recognize their own limitations, however will ultimately take the responsibility for facilitating the process.
· Or they will inspire, mobilize, and empower a team to get to the goals. However, they will still take the responsibility of getting the team to the goal and cross the line together with them.
· Leaders also take the responsibility to roll up their own sleeves and drive toward the goal.
· They recognize that the path to SHINE is rarely linear.
· They take responsibility to learn from the detours along the way, and course correct when necessary.
· Inspiring Leaders have a tremendous amount of grit. The challenge to them is not whether they get back up again, it’s how can they get back up faster and faster each time.
· Inspiring leaders know that leading means that during their journey they don’t have the same view twice. You will witness them taking the responsibility to be vulnerable; enter into unknown waters, risk receiving a no, risk falling down. In other words, they always seek a better and improved path to their destination until the optimal path is found…finally making it repeatable and scalable.
· These leaders also take full responsibility, that once they’ve found the best possible path to that goal, to set a new goal and begin to forge yet another new path to this new destination.
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