Are you taking charge of your life/business, or is your life/business taking charge of you?
Of course, you want to take charge of your life and business rather than having it control you. However, with all that you do, are you truly taking the lead in your life and business?
How does your current mindset influence your leadership development? Where does your focus and attention go as you are wanting to take the lead?
Are you really in charge of leading your life and business?
The “Doing Trap”
When we are not happy with status quo, most of us sooner or later take responsibility and decide to do something about it.
And so we go… we are making decisions; producing, and doing whatever it takes to hopefully generate something that will yield new results. Along the way, we might be running out of ideas to improve our situation by ourselves. So we get others involved. We are consulting advisors, are reading expert books, and are finding information that will guide our ways forward. Hopefully, by following the “proven paths” of others we can successfully improve lives and careers.
In other words, when facing the need to change and transform status quo most of us immediately and whole-heartedly put all our energy into “doing something about it”.
Welcome in the “Doing Trap”.
Richard Bandler, co-founder of NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) has described this phenomenon in the following way: “When you always do, what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always got.” Albert Einstein was a bit more provocative. He said: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over; expecting different results”.
When all our energy is going into the “doing” and the producing, we are overlooking a fundamental first step that is necessary to make the “doing” creative, intentional, and – most importantly – effective.
What Is The Missing Link?
When I interviewed successful entrepreneurs and leaders on their “Success Mindset” I was interested in the common thread among them: The “Difference that made the difference” for successful entrepreneurs and leaders; what helped them to conquer or successfully navigate around the barriers of the “Doing trap”? How did they respond to external challenges and needs, innovate and grow themselves and their businesses so they could continuously reach new levels of success?
Most of the entrepreneurs and leaders I talked to spend much time on explaining how they did not follow “proven success strategies” but rather, relied on their own “inner resources”. Their focus was on what they could uniquely bring to the game based on what they were really good at, what they deeply cared about, and what they stood for. They put much attention on mixing their own “Success Cocktail”, based on ingredients of their inner resources. Then they based their actions on strategically leveraged this Success Cocktail for most intentional actions.
The difference that made the difference…
… the common theme that emerged is quite simple – yet very powerful. And it is consistently overlooked by most of us:
The way successful entrepreneurs and leaders THOUGHT about THEMSELVES in their business fundamentally influenced their leadership actions. It greatly determined how they took charge of their businesses and influenced their teams.
The way we THINK determines the way we DO.
As John Locke said: “I have always thought the actions of men the best interpreters for their thoughts.” When we are focusing all our energy on doing and the end-result we are forgetting to put energy into the most influential piece that helps us eventually generate our results!
Leadership Starts in the Head
Aristotle said: “We are what we repeatedly do”. Maybe because our identity is so much tied to our actions we tend to put all our attention and energy into the “doing”.
However, we can break though the “Doing Trap” and make our actions much more intentional and effective by taking a step back and creating self-awareness first: What is important to US, what WE care about, what WE are really good at.
Any type of growth, expansion, and change requires “Self-Leadership” first. Taping into internal resources first helps us to be more effective leaders. When we know how to draw from our own resources we have a much better change to not “mindlessly” do the same thing over and over and we also don’t need to reach out for external advice for every new step of the way.
When we draw from our own map we can respond and act on external needs, changes, and challenges
- more quickly
- with more ease, confidence, and authenticity
- more creativity and flexibility
Sustainable success as a leader requires continuous growth and transformation “from the inside out”. “We need to encourage habits of flexibility, of continuous learning – for institutions as well as for individuals.” (Peter Drucker).
Centered Leadership™ begins with Self-Knowing. As Seth Godin says: “It’s time to stop complying with the system and draw your own map. You have brilliance in you, your contribution is essential, and the art you create is precious. Only you can do it, and you must.”
Here’s to you, the Centered Leader™, who is truly taking charge of your destiny by leading authentically and powerfully from “the inside out”.