We all know someone who was "born to lead." That might even describe you. This is true to some degree, leadership does take certain skills – some of which are innate. No matter the characteristics that come naturally, there is no way of getting around the fact that great leaders are not born, they are developed.
I often share tips to help leaders do their job better – from being a better communicator to creating a positive culture to motivating employees. These provide great opportunities to reflect on your current leadership approach and identify areas to work on. But in addition to knowing the skills of being a great leader, you must be aware of the time and effort it takes to get there.
In a recent post, leadership guru Wally Bock breaks down three paths of progress:
- Punctuated Equilibrium: Comparing personal development to evolution, Bock says the way you become great is through a series of small changes that are accentuated by "a sudden burst of change."
- Every Day in Some Small Way. A continuous commitment to growth is key. Each day, you should be intentional about getting yourself one step closer to your goal. Bock recommends tracking your progress so you can see how far you've come.
- The Explosion and The Crucible. As we work up the leadership ladder, there are difficult moments of sacrifice, uncertainty and pressure. Whether they're outside of our control or a longtime dream, these are the situations that contribute the most to our growth. They push us outside of our comfort zone and force us to change.
Leadership isn't easy and Bock is right, "no one starts out great." We're all given a unique set of skills and personality traits that set us up for greatness, but we've got to put in the work.
Are you going to take a giant leap of faith or intentional steps toward greatness? Each of the paths Bock outlines are needed to achieve progress, it just depends on the situation and how much time you are willing to give in order to achieve change.
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