Are you ready to become a revolutionary leader? To break free from the same old tired ways of doing things and pave the way for new ideas, opportunities and progress? If so, then listen up, because I’m about to let you in on a little secret: JUST BE IT. That’s right, you heard me correctly. Take the risk. You can’t create new actions from old ways of being. To truly become an effective leader, you must focus on the beliefs that form your identity. Only then can you take action and achieve results.
Think about it, and imagine living your biggest, most fulfilling life. Imagine being the one leading the charge, initiating open forums, and fostering diverse ways of thinking. Imagine being the one to break down barriers and pave the way for progress in every professional career and business opportunity, regardless of race, creed, or color. It’s a tantalizing thought, isn’t it?
But how is this possible? How can you become the leader you’ve always dreamed of being? Well, let me tell you, it’s not easy. It requires a level of self-awareness that can be uncomfortable and even painful. But trust me, it’s worth it.
You see, I know this from personal experience. During my career as an HR executive and mother of three teenagers, I was no stranger to the demands of balancing a career and family. I decided to enroll in an Executive MBA program, and for the next 20 months, my social life was non-existent. I missed birthday parties, weddings, and even going to the movies. But amidst the chaos, I was blessed to witness the graduations of all the females in my immediate family – from high school, college, and graduate school all within a two-month period.
It was a defining moment for me, and it made me realize something that I hadn’t fully appreciated before. Educated women have a powerful economic role to play in their families and communities. Globally, educated females positively impact declining mortality rates, democracy, and equity. And yet, despite this data, it is still rare for families of color to achieve this level of generational success.
But I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be this way. If someone shared with you the inside secrets to achieving life success through effective leadership, you would want to know, wouldn’t you? Well, that’s exactly what I’m going to do. Here are the three key behaviors necessary to master effective leadership
Leading yourself is the hardest job in the world. Why? Because it requires constant self-awareness and introspection. It means being present in your thoughts and not at WAR (working against reality) with yourself. It means being aware of your emotional triggers and choosing to shift your context to the positive, rather than reacting in a negative way.
So how do you become aware?
1. Check Your Thoughts – An individual has 7-8 seconds to change his/her thoughts before they transform into feelings. You are what you think so do not sabotage yourself with negative thinking.
2. Check Your Feelings – Don’t be afraid to look! Identify the feeling and if it is negative, choose to release it.
3. Check Your Physical Awareness – When you listen to your body it will tell you whether you are stressed. Cardio activity and deep breathing exercises for short periods can help reset your focus for clearer thinking.
Leadership requires recognition of values. And the best way to assess your values is to review where you spend your time, money, and energy. Don’t guess. Review your records to provide a true picture.
Leadership values also shape behavior. Values such as integrity and authenticity are crucial for building trust and respect among your family, community, and team members. Assessing values help you to determine how you achieve your goals, how you make decisions, and what actions you take on a daily basis. Remember, young people will imitate your values, so be sure to lead by example.
Leadership is about execution and achieving results. It’s about taking action, even when it’s uncomfortable or difficult. It’s about removing negative judgment and pushing through the initial struggles to create something truly meaningful. So often, we take ourselves out of the game we call life and never take the first step towards creating what REALLY matters. Whatever you start won’t be pretty at first and will likely suck. But if you keep adjusting and moving forward, you will create what you want out of life!
But perhaps the most important factor of all when it comes to leadership is exposure. Exposure to different choices, experiences, and life possibilities is the key to breaking the cycle of generational struggle. Technology can help level the playing field by eliminating the lack of exposure. Utilizing non-traditional media channels such as social media platforms, podcasts, and internet tv channels, our youth, and future leaders can visibly access a huge amount of information about different subjects when no one in their family or community has ever experienced anything like that before. So don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and expose yourself to new and exciting opportunities. The world is waiting for you!