So far in this book, it seems like I have talked a lot about Communication, Leadership, and the benefits of relationships based on the use of those two guiding thoughts. If I am honest with myself though… I haven’t really equipped you to go for it yet. If you are a reluctant leader and you have gotten this far, it is high time we start talking about putting Action into motion. So how do we get started?
When I first publicly spoke on this topic, I had a presentation that got to a slide and quickly outlined the steps to start taking the lead.
One of the first steps is to internalize the idea that you can wield influence. You have a calling to lead that is natural. Only you know what the natural call is or has the potential to be – but it is your call. If you sidestep that call, it may sound harsh… but you are being negligent. You need to fill that role. If you do not, you leave the opportunity for an unnatural leader to fill the role. Unnatural leadership is what causes division, confusion and the appearance and feeling of a lack of alignment in our environment. You know that odd feeling of “Something ain’t right” but you can’t put your finger on it right away… this is it.
So one – Make the Internal Decision to Lead
Next is to prepare yourself in whole for the job. Body, Mind, and Spirit must be in alignment for you to pull this off. Now right away when I am speaking on the subject, someone is bound to speak up and say “So you don’t think handicapped people can lead”? Come on now, chances are… it is specifically their handicap that calls them to their natural position. Leadership doesn’t always follow the obvious, that is what makes Influence and Leadership so darn special. So here comes your number two:
Two – Read and Study
When you know your “Why”, you can then fill in the blanks on What, Where, and How. Read up on your subject matter and become knowledgeable about the subject you may be leading in. Next, and beyond the pages of this book – study communication and leadership. I authored this book after a lifetime of study on the subject and still have leaps and bounds to grow. Sometimes I look back on the years at Ducati or my time at Suzuki and think “Wow, was that me?”. I can’t imagine leading today, like I did just a few years ago. It takes time. That is three:
Three – Allow Yourself Some Grace
We are the hardest on ourselves. Being hard on yourself not only robs yourself of moving forward but robs your circle of the value you have to offer. Yep, this is the lead-in to Four… Take action.
Four – Take Action
Any action is better than none. When life gets in the way and I don’t get on the mountain bike for a while, it is hard to start up again. While it may sound like hyperbole, I have a role of leadership in my cycling that I need to honor. Just servicing the bike, loading it up, and hitting the train for five or six miles is better than sitting on the sofa. Some action is better than none. Remember earlier in the book we talked about how you can even take action the wrong way, adjust, and get further than if you had waited to take perfect action. So what is five?
Five – Evaluate – Adjust
Keep yourself open to change. The moment you think you have it all figured out is probably the moment you begin to lose influence. How do you evaluate your own leadership? Ask. Don’t be afraid to ask people their opinion, and don’t hold them responsible for their answers. Be open and receptive. Once you can process their feedback you can strategize your next adjustment.
Six – Stay in Community
Confession. This is where I blew it the most coming up on my own path of leadership. I had this “Lonely at the top” mentality and tried to shoulder the burden of leadership on my own. This was wrong on so many levels. Community is very important to your own health, mental stability, and effect on your circle. In a quest to have a community built to add value to upcoming leaders, I built the Action Leadership Team. I would love to have you there. It is the same site where you have taken the assessments in.