“It is what you do before what you do, that matters most.”
More than ever, leaders and organizations are realizing that in order to increase employee engagement they themselves must be intentional about becoming the very best version of themselves.
I have often said that leadership is not a position, it is a way of being. It is a high calling and a tall order. The best leaders that I have known recognize that their leadership effectiveness springs forth from who they are as individuals. They have done the heavy lifting and the hard work of becoming authentic.
Authentic leaders don’t “play” leader. They are who they are…with all of their strengths and growing edges. Yes, we can certainly adapt our behaviors to the workplace environment, but those that lead best, understand they are the environment, and how they show up matters. Showing up authentically, doing the consistent and ongoing work of becoming.
Do you show up inspired, so you can inspire? Do you allow others to give you feedback, and moreover, do you act upon it? Do you provide a clear and compelling vision of what accountability and collaboration look like by modeling the way? Do you hold up a mirror to those you have been entrusted to lead so that they can see the potential you see in them, and they, then have a chance to become the better version of who they are?
If we are honest, many of us want to answer yes. I do think no is an ok answer, and only if that leads you to intentionally reinventing yourself, so you can later answer…Yes!
What does intentional reinvention require of us?
For example, any time my husband and I embark on a home renovation project we typically find ourselves going through a process that involves the following:
- Sitting with the old version (kitchen, bedroom, yard, bathroom) for a while and suddenly becoming dissatisfied and becoming motivated to make a change
- Taking a step back and dreaming about what the new version could look like and being inspired to make the changes
- Seeking advice from trusted resources
- Creating a plan that sometimes changes and evolves with the more we learn
- Stepping into action with faith and courage, knowing that our desire is for excellence and not perfection
We know that reinventions and renovations are not just external. Renovations and reinventions happen from the inside out. Because they require us to think differently, to change our minds, to change our hearts, it is indeed an inside-out job.
So where do you begin your self-renovation project?
Usually, reinvention starts when we look at certain aspects of our life and we conclude that we are not satisfied or giving our best in certain areas. Perhaps in your role as leader, you conclude that your relationships with your team members or peers are not as healthy as they could be.
Ask Yourself: What legacy do I want to leave behind? What legacy am I currently living? Who do I want to be? What are my strengths? What are my growing edges? What are my values? How do others see me? How am I showing up in my relationships? Are my actions or how I spend my time in alignment with what is most important?
2. Take a Step Back…To Move Forward
Trusting that you are on a journey and that you are becoming is key. Allowing yourself to sit with the answers to the questions will help you determine what it will take to step into this better version of you. Reflect on your relationships, your talents, your gifts, your passion.
Ask Yourself: What do I need to let go of, to make room for?
3. Find a Personal Accountability Partner or Personal Board of Directors
We are not meant to do life or lead alone. Having one person or a group of people who will hold up a mirror to you and tell you the truth about what they see is paramount to your becoming. Find a coach, a mentor or even a friend at work who knows everything about you and loves you anyway!
4. Step Into Action
Now you can begin with an end in mind! Our life is an accumulation of decisions and individual steps we take. Some of us have a clear vision of our life, and some leave room for the unexpected.
If you are a planner, hold the tension of sticking to a plan with allowing yourself to revise your plan as you discover the better version of you.
Above all, believe that you are always becoming. Don’t allow yourself to get stuck! Keep moving, keep growing, keep changing, keep leading!
We are here for you, cheering you on to become the better version of you!
-Jan Bazow, Founder & CEO