Leadership Workout

July 7, 2016

A quote from the introduction to the 4th edition of Leadership Challenge by Kouzes and Posner caught my attention.  “In the end, we realize that leadership development is self-development.”  That thought stuck in my mind.  It explains much of my passion for the topic of leadership.

Have you ever noticed the energy you get from helping someone accomplish something they’ve set their mind on?  If they bring the energy, you are energized to help. But if you ever realize you’re more motivated than they are, your energy starts to drain. One of my core values in hiring, or association, or partnership is my estimation of the other person’s ability to self motivate. If I believe they’re motivated, I’m excited to engage.  No leader wants to have to energize their team every day.  Team members that would rather be somewhere else should get somewhere else.  People who do not look forward to anything or who cannot get excited about something end up being a drain, at least to me and many of the leaders I know.

How’s your self-development?  Are you doing what you can to grow yourself?  Do you find yourself complaining about your situation? Have you let your circumstances dictate your energy level or are you setting the stage, creating your future?  Are you a victim or a creator?  Are you helpless or are you an owner? Are you a thermostat or a thermometer?

30497758 - series of dumbbells are on stand at the gym

I first wrote about the leadership workout years ago. However, even now, reading The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor, I notice similarities. The book contains well-researched data and conclusions about attitude. The simple fact is, the happier we are, the more effective we are. And our happiness is something we create, just like our motivation.

Our world needs leaders, individuals who embrace our circumstances and make the best of them.  Our job is to bring a creator mindset to every environment, every circumstance.  We develop as leaders as we exercise our ability to influence our circumstances.  And, just like physical exercise, exercising positive influence is something we all get better at as we work at it.  As some encouraging friends on Twitter like to say, “make it a great day”.  Work out your leadership skills today and create your future!

Updated from a post that originally appeared on the Lead Change Group blog.

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