At 19 you feel invincible. The world needs to be ready for the awesomeness that is you.
I can’t really remember what I was like as a 19 year old stepping into leadership for the first time except that I can almost guarantee that change would have been necessary somewhere in my make-up. I am not perfect now, definitely wasn’t then.
Maybe I was a bit precocious.
Maybe I thought that no one could tell me anything.
Maybe I was of the opinion that I knew what I was doing.
Maybe I felt this is it, I have made it.
Maybe my people skills were not honed yet and I upset people when I said things.
Maybe there were times when my life and my leadership didn’t always marry up. [See last post]
Quietly and carefully those around me changed me. Some more deliberately, others less obviously. There was no formal leadership development programme when I started. It was learn as you go. Change as you go. Or don’t be a leader anymore.
How has it helped me? CHANGE…
Clarity – focus, sharpness, some clear self-awareness about yourself and your leadership skills
Hard – it’s never easy admitting that you need to change, but if we don’t then we probably won’t improve
Attitude – the right one is essential. If you don’t work on this then your leadership is lost
Normal – as Giuseppe Tomase di Lampedusa in his novel, The Leopard wrote ‘If we want things to stay the same, things will have to change’. Change just needs to become a normal part of our leading. Not just for the sake of it, but so we are always ready to eabrace it
Growth – if we want to grow then we need the uncomfortableness that change often brings. Some stretch and challenge that will inevitably make us more effective as leaders is good
Energy – a change of programme, some new ideas, a different leader, new team members, a shift of focus – all of these can bring fresh energy, passion and life to something that has maybe gone stale
Everything we do is an opportunity to learn and therefore an opportunity to make change. We must aways be open to the need for change and embrace it rather than fight it. It is not inevitable but it is necessary. Recognising the need for change is one thing, in my head I know it’s right. Far off it sounds great. The transition of it in my heart though, that may take a little longer.
And looking at that list again, I’m still in need of learning and changing, perhaps more than I am willing to admit.
How have you changed as a leader through the years? What would you share that could help others?