Leaders are able to sustain themselves and others using key leadership lessons that are transferable to life.
Indeed, when they are facing real life issues, the same principles keep them on track.
Wondering what are these transferable lessons?
1. Identify your purpose
When you discover your purpose, you will not want to settle for less until then finding out what it is should take up most of your time and is an inherent part of the journey.
If you don’t know what it is, you can always follow your passion because at some point and to some extent you will find your purpose.
2. Find your place of strength
Finding out your strengths is tricky because we have a hard time identifying and valuing what comes natural and easy to us.Discovering ways to use your strengths and actually using them are empowering and will propel you forward in life.
Discovering ways to use your strengths and actually using them are empowering and will propel you forward in life.
3. Trust your instincts
So many times we deny what we believe to be True and what our intuition whispers to us for the sake of people who don’t value us and for situation that destroy us.
When you understand how profitable it is to trust your instincts, you will learn to listen and follow even when it doesn’t look like you should.
4. Think positively
If you think you’ll fail, then you probably will.If you think you’ll have a bad day, you probably will.
So, watch your thoughts, start each day with a positive mindset and note the gradual changes in your decisions, perceptions, and actions. If you think you’ll have a bad day, you probably will.
So, watch your thoughts, start each day with a positive mindset and note the gradual changes in your decisions, perceptions, and actions.
5. Understand that we all face adversity
We all go through moments of adversity, big ones, small ones, long-lasting ones, short-termed ones, ones that build you up, ones that are meant to destroy you.
Adversity can break you only if you let it.
But if you make it on the other side, your adversity will leave the gift of knowledge and wisdom.
Last Words Of Advice
These leadership lessons are not a guarantee that you would not have to deal with challenges but they guarantee that you will see them through.
Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!
Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.
Most Millennials and Gen Z require more out of the companies they are affiliated with.
They demand a healthy relationship with their work.
They pay closely attention to their purpose within their role, to their leadership, to what their organization does and most importantly why they do it.
What is Shared Purpose?
Shared purpose is the reason why a company, leaders, teams matter and should bond together.
Shared purpose relates to a personal mission statement, to core values, to personal motivation, to a given motivation.
Shared purpose allows for deeper understanding of overall objectives, clearer expectations of performance and code of conduct, stronger resilience in the face of adversity, job satisfaction on all levels, and better team engagement and alignment.
The culture that we live in encourages people to live their dreams and follow their passions.
We don’t necessarily have a guideline to live the dream, to exercise our passions and to find the career that best suits us.
It seems that to get a fulfilling job or to do great work, following your passion is definitively not the way to go.
Because following your passions is difficult, rarely successful and dangerous.
Studies have shown that:
Passions are not determined at birth.
Most people can have several passions that have nothing to do with choosing the right job. Some people don’t necessarily have a passion to follow.
Passions for a job takes time to develop. It takes time to build relationships, to become efficient at what you do and see the impact of your work.
You become passionate when you master a skill.
You become confused and anxious when you follow passion.
What should you do then?
When going after the career you want, you must measure the importance of growing a set of skills and adopt the craftsman mindset.
Indeed, there are two ways of thinking about work. There’s the craftsmanmindset and the passionmindset.
The passion mindset focuses on what the world can offer you. It sets you constantly on high alert, seeking for what you don’t like. It leaves you perpetually in a state of confusion.
The craftsman mindset is useful in building the career that you want, irrespective of what type of work you do.
It focuses on what you produce and what you can offer the world. It leaves you with clarity and a love for what you do.
How to acquire the craftsman mindset?
Great work is a combination of creativity, impact and control. This combination is rare but valuable.
Matter of fact, great jobs are rare and valuable. To find them, you need to build up great skills and in turn offer skills that are rare and valuable.
The craftsman mindset is the best way to acquire skills Capital.
To grow a craftsman mindset, you can follow these 5 steps:
Decide what Capital Market you belong to.
Identify the type of Capital you want to pursue.
Define clear goals for yourself.
Get out of your comfort zone and stretch your abilities.
How to gain control using your new found Capital?
Gaining control over what you do is an important part of enjoying what you do and is the hardest part.
Gaining control turns out to be tricky: you cannot ask for more control if you don’t have enough Capital to back it up or you have acquired lots of control that you can no longer evolve in your role.
It serves to have a unifying focus or mission for your career. A mission will focus your energy toward a useful goal and increase your impact on the world. To accomplish your mission, you can take small steps that generate concrete feedback.
So Good They Can’t Ignore You is an extremely practical, logical guide to get the career that you want and to be so “good they can’t ignore you”.
In So Good They Can’t Ignore You, Cal Newport believes that you should not pursue your passions in order to achieve career success.
Instead, you should seek to improve your skills and apply yourself in a particular field. By mastering a skill, you will gain in efficiency and gradually become passionate about the work you do.
According to Cal Newport, people who solely follow their passions end up shifting careers when they realize that their career is not what is cracked up to be.
To get a fulfilling job and the career that you want, he suggests 4 rules or principles that are extracted from many successful people lives and that are difficult to implement.
It was very interesting and somewhat refreshing to hear an unpopular opinion. His principles and opinion are not designed for dreamers.
It is however designed for people at entry-level at their jobs, for analytical people who are geared towards efficient performance and who are career focused.
Even if I’m a practical person, I admittedly don’t see anything wrong with pushing people to follow their passions that might get them out of their comfort zone and into their dream job.
I think that there isn’t one approach to success or else everybody would be doing it. Some people are motivated by having a solid plan, others by an unshakable purpose and others by an exciting passion.
Furthermore, introverts can be seen as “fair, thoughtful, intelligent, competent, diligent, and trustworthy”.
How To Manage Your Introversion?
Introverts must understand their strengths and weaknesses.
Introverts must also discipline their active minds.
They tend to make assumptions and create stories in their mind that hold them back and are not always true.
Instead, they must pick stories that propel them in life.
Introverts must learn how to protect their energy and take breaks when they need to in order to rejuvenate and be more alert at work.
There are several additional strategies to manage your introversion in order to achieve success:
Keep your eyes on the prize.
Practice and fake it until you make it.
Feel fear and go towards it anyways.
Be unafraid of rejection.
Embrace solitude. Protect their space and energy.
The Skills Every Introverts Need To Succeed
Introverts need to learn other extroverted skills to make them more effective in the workplace and to get out their comfort zone.
Networking is challenging for introverts but is necessary and inevitable.
For introverts, networking seems self-serving and distasteful.
To be able to network and connect better with people, it helps to listen to people’s needs, to ask them for advice and to understand that every interaction can pay off in the long run.
2. Communicating Consciously
Because introverts withdraw in their own world, must:
Pay attention to their own thoughts.
Be careful when and how to communicate with others so that the latter don’t make negative assumptions about them.
Stay detached from their work enough to be able to socialize.
3. Promoting Themselves
Self-promotion makes introverts very uncomfortable.
However, your work will not speak for itself.
You have to learn to promote your own work and competencies.
Most books about career development and success are generally geared towards extroverts, which can get discouraging for introverts.
In The Successful Introvert, Wendy Gelberg gives hints on on how, when and where to use your introversion.
She shows that there is strength in introversion, that there are places and moments where your introversion is valuable.
The Successful Introvert by Wendy Gelberg is eye-opening. I recommend this book for shy and introverted leaders (in progress) who want to gain self-awareness, optimize their leadership and develop their career.
Some of us are not leaders yet and wish to become leaders. The thing is our introversion is often times what stops us from getting what we really want in life.
In addition, the corporate world does act like introverts are problematic and often singles them out. Introverts have to learn to accept who they truly are and make the best of their personality type.
Let me know below what you think about this book!
The key to success is versatility.
Introversion is not a limiting characteristic, although the accompanying traits may require some special accommodations (also true of extraversion, but that’s a subject
for another book). We make comparisons to people who are highly successful and see the ways in which we fall short. Meanwhile, we don’t get to see the struggles or challenges that they had to deal with, so their success looks falsely uncomplicated.
Some of the adjectives that frequently come up in describing introverts are quiet, serious, calm, reserved, detached, restrained, and private. All of these speak to our inner focus, and they can contribute to success when used appropriately.
According to Robert Bruce Shaw, in Leadership Blindspots: How Successful Leaders Identify and Overcome the Weaknesses That Matter, great leadership emanates from an ability to make great decisions which comes from making bad decisions and learning from them.
The sooner in your career that those bad decisions are made, the better.
Of course, you make fewer mistakes as you progress in your career and as you experience the outcomes of the mistakes, but you never stop making them.
In addition, mistakes are more costly as you move up the ladder in a company and can potentially derail your career.
In light of this issue, in Leadership Blindspots, Robert Bruce Shaw investigates the existence of leadership blindspot, an “unrecognized weakness or threat that has the potential to undermine a leader’s success” and that becomes evident in the way your team, organizations and markets are perceived.
How to characterize leadership blindspots?
First of all, leadership blindspots are often associated to leadership strengths.
They appear whenever the leader is utilizing his or her strengths at work.
Second of all, blindspots don’t disappear, even if you are fully aware of them.
Thirdly, blindspots are situational, adaptive and can be helpful.
And finally, blindspots are able to impact other people and followers.
Advice for understanding and dealing with leadership blindspots?
Furthermore, blindspots come with a price and has to be recognized by the leader in order for him or her to find a balance.
To do so, leaders have to weigh two conflicting needs:
their need for acting with confidence, believing strongly in their vision, and having faith in themselves, their abilities.
their need for assessing their limitations in order to avoid overconfidence or excessive optimism.
The complex balance between self-confidence and self-doubt is unnatural, contradictory but necessary, depends on each individual and each situation.
If there are too many blindspots, the leader can be overly confident and arrogant.
If there are few blindspots, the leader is somewhat realistic about the obstacles to face, is aware of his or her strengths and weaknesses.
Are there different levels of blindness?
There are three levels of blindness that a leader could experience:
Lack of awareness level. This is the “most extreme form of a blindspot”. At this level, leaders are constantly surprised or blindsided by events.
Faulty assessment level. At this level, leaders are in denial: they refuse to acknowledge risks, to analyze known weaknesses, and to understand the causes and consequences of their blindspots.
Failure to act level. At this level, leaders know the risks, threats and weaknesses that lay ahead but fail to act on them for lack of skills and resolve. Those leaders are adept to the rule “when in doubt, do nothing” or rather remain in their comfort zones.
How to identify your leadership blindspots?
In order to identify your blindspots:
Review your past and present mistakes. Mistakes are indicative of blindspots, areas of lack of self-awareness, and areas of faulty patterns of thinking and behavior. It is advised to identify the most significant mistakes, their causes, patterns of behavior and thinking associated to these mistakes and the actions to be taken on the behalf of the leader to prevent those mistakes from reoccurring.
Consider honest and useful feedback from your trusted advisors.
Gain additional insight by taking the blindspot assessment survey.
Then, question the relative importance of your blindspots in your career and its impacts on yourself, the organization to distinguish which blindspot requires your immediate attention.
What are the different types of leadership blindspots?
Blindspots often go hand in hand with the leader’s strengths and reappear unexpectedly when the leader does what he or she does best.
There are few factors that lead to blindspots areas:
“Experience gaps“. The blindspot stems from a lack of experience or from a habit of using past experiences to extrapolate a present situation.
“Information overload” describes an inability to pay attention to everything that is happening when engaged in a complex and challenging task.
“Emotional bias” corresponds to an emotional involvement in a particular situation or outcome that clouds judgement.
“Cognitive dissonance” is a psychology term associated to a state in which leaders hold two conflicting views of their self-image. The “conflict is resolved through rationalizing one’s belief or actions in a manner that sustains one’s positive self-image” which reinforces the blindspot.
“Misaligned incentives” are compensation systems that are “designed to focus attention and effort within an organization, with the result being that people focus more on some areas than on others”.
“Hierarchical distortion”. The information transmitted to hierarchy becomes distorted, false, incomplete because:
high-ranking leaders are sometimes detached from the lower levels of the organization.
subordinates tend to sugarcoat information by deference or by fear of retaliation.
high-ranking leaders pay less attention to less powerful people.
“Overconfidence“. Leaders overestimates their own capabilities, skills and knowledge.
How to overcome blindspots?
According to Robert Bruce Shaw, it is not possible to completely suppress blindspots but it is important to recognize them and find ways to work with them?
To handle blindspot:
Make an assessment of the problem on your own, stay on contact with frontliners, customers, markets and high potential individuals.
Invest in metrics, processes and data that challenge the leader’s beliefs and basic assumptions.
Develop an ability to recognize, prioritize blindspot warning signs.
Consider feedback from trusted advisors.
“Leaders need to test their ideas and discuss emerging threats with a diverse team of individuals who respect each other’s experience and abilities but are also willing to push each other to reach the best outcomes on the truly critical issues”.
In conclusion, leaders are flawed individuals with strengths, weaknesses and blindspots that are to be acknowledged.
Blindspots often show up when the leader is using his or her strengths or reverts to their comfort zone, and cannot be completely resolved.
It is up to the leader to stay on the lookout for blindspots, to strike up a balance between self-confidence and self-doubt.
In Leadership Blindspots: How Successful Leaders Identify and Overcome the Weaknesses That Matter, Robert Bruce Shaw analyses leadership behaviors when it comes to blindspots and weaknesses.
He illustrates every single one of his thoughts on blindspots with great and renown leadership examples and concludes each example with an analysis and lessons to take away.
Furthermore, not only this book contains realistic and applicable examples, each paragraph of this book can be read on standalone.
In addition, Robert Bruce Shaw provides us with a tool —the blindspot assessment survey— for us to identify whether or not we possess blindspots and to what degree we have incubated them.
I recommend this book to employees who are failing to lead and to boost their careers.
It has come to my knowledge that because of my belief system, I am an adept of the rule “when in doubt, stand still” which has not bothered my career but has increased my serenity.
After taking the blindspot assessment test, I have received a low probability of blindspots as I am self-aware of my strengths and of my weaknesses.
Finally, Leadership Blindspots was intriguing to me because there are so many books about leadership strengths and developing them.
I equally appreciated the fact that he mentioned the need for transparency (better visibility of mistakes thanks to the media) which put leaders are under a lot of pressure, all while trying to overcome their blindspots.
People who are smart and self-assured are often very skillful at justifying their thinking and behavior—to the point of being in denial about their weaknesses and the threats they face. Their intelligence can work against them when they convince themselves, and often others, that they are right even when they are wrong.
Successful individuals who sometimes stumble often do so because they have no one who can protect them from themselves.
The best leaders develop a range of compensating mechanisms that fit their personalities and the company cultures in which they work. In many cases these leaders don’t fundamentally change the way they think, but instead develop warning systems that surface important weaknesses and threats.