What does it take to be a leader?
Do we just choose to lead and it all falls into place or do others choose the leader?
If we aren’t a natural leader, can we improve and maybe even become a great leader?
Over the past 4 months, questions like this have filled my mind. This has been a topic of discussion with my husband (who happens to be an excellent leader), as well as with other leaders on my team.
As 2014 came to an end and I was looking forward to 2015, I had to take some time to evaluate my life and my business.
Was I where I needed to be?
Was I hitting my full potential?
I had no doubt I’d come a long way from where I first started. My business had grown in many ways and I had hit most of my goals for the year. What I was not happy about was that many on my team were struggling to see their full potential. Let me tell you – I have an AMAZING team. These are some strong women (and a few men). They are fighters with vision and purpose. But 2014 seemed to present some road blocks that slowly shut down their performance and motivation.
I had to turn to the only possible problem – ME.
Okay, I know that that’s not always the case, but I was willing to at least take the time to evaluate my actions and determine where I could do better.
How can I effectively lead my team to their full potential without making it all about me?
In absolute perfect timing, a close mentor of mine, Traci Morrow, came to the rescue with the opportunity of a lifetime. I was invited to be a part of a small group of people (30 to be exact) who met with John C. Maxwell for a nearly 5 hours in a round table discussion. We were able to soak in so much wisdom as it applied to leadership within our specific business (health and fitness coaching and business development).
It only got better as we spent the entire next day delving deeper into the struggles within our organization. You see, I think what most people fail to realize, is that success can’t happen alone. Many so called leaders fail miserably because of selfish actions. One of John’s pearls of wisdom is that if you put the needs of others first, everything else will fall into place.
What does leadership look like?
Think of all the great leaders past and present. What was so great about them? Were there successes based on self-glorification and self-gratification? Or was it clear that their intent was to help as many people as possible?
It’s not how fast you get there, but how many people you have with you once you are at the top. Far too often people rush to the top. They step on anyone and anything to make sure they get to the top first. Then they find out that the top is lonely and dry and not the fulfillment they had expected.
They lost friends and trust along the way.
Great leaders are called for more. Leadership isn’t for everyone. In fact, it isn’t for most. Most people won’t even try. They have no desire to take on that kind of responsibility – and it is a LOT of responsibility. It’s hard! And sometimes, it just plain sucks.
But for me personally, the gratification that comes from seeing others within your circle of influences succeed is powerful. It is something I want to pour more time and energy into. But who will want to come with me? Where are all of the people who will attach to a big dream and a big vision and run with me?
Eagles don’t flock – turkeys flock – John Maxwell
Simply stated, you won’t find a lot of great leaders with drive and determination. The ones that do exist are already out in the world fulfilling their dream. You just have to know that there are some fantastic gems out there who want to share your vision. They want to grow and develop with you. But they won’t come flocking to your door. You have to go out and find them and be patient and determined, even when the wrong ones let you down.
I am so full from my time with Mr. Maxwell. I invested a lot into this weekend because I knew it would pay back in multiples. I also knew this opportunity would never happen again. I knew that this would be something I would treasure for the rest of my life.
It has created a legacy in my soul that I will pass on to my children and my team and for that I am forever grateful.