Last week’s blog titled ‘Negotiating Catastrophe’ was quite heavy in subject matter and a bit unusual for the first blog of the year. Therefore, I would like to go in a completely different direction this week by suggesting three steps towards having a greater influence and making a significant impact in 2013. In other words, if you will do the following, I believe you will expand your capacity this year.
1. Follow and Learn from a Different Kind of Leader
One of the fortunate aspects concerning a digital and social media driven age is the access afforded us to so many different leaders. I am suggesting we take advantage of this access and utilize it for our own leadership development. Focus on a leader that is outside of your typical realm of activity and study how they influence, make decisions, develop relationships, and personally discipline themselves to become better at fill in the blank. Also, when I say a different kind of leader, I mean someone outside the genre of your typical activities. For example, if you are an athlete who loves competition through sports then study a leader who excelled in competing in a different arena (i.e.: politics; business; humanitarian work). By studying someone ‘different’ it affords you the ability to see life from their viewpoint and thus gain a different perspective on your own goals and dreams.
2. Lead at a Higher Level through Self-imposed Goals
Put your cookies on a higher shelf this year. The discipline of self-imposed goals has become somewhat undervalued in a community-focused age. While working within the context of a community is essential for multiple reasons (theological, philosophical, methodological), the ability to set personal goals and execute them is equally important. The process of setting and attaining goals forces one to think critically, creatively and confidently – all three of which are necessary for leading at a higher level.
3. Contribute to Someone’s Leadership Development
Helping someone walk through the process of being a leader certainly expands your personal influence and forces you to think retrospectively. Relationships are the greatest of classrooms for leadership development. And by ‘relationship’ I mean classical understanding of the term rather than just responding to someone on Twitter. While this is a great tool that I personally use, I still contend that personal relationships for the purpose of ongoing development happen best outside the confines of just 140 characters. Therefore, engage with the strategic purpose of developing someone else to reach and even further their capacity…and in doing so you will expand your own!