When we think of leadership we usually think of the person up front. That person who leads is usually an expert, the brightest, fastest, strongest or most charismatic. Because of this they are destined for leadership, right? Well what about the rest of the world. Can those who are not the brightest, or most charismatic, can they still be leaders?
We should all strive to be the best at whatever we engage in and do so with confidence, but we should also know that there are other attributes to leadership. On your way to being the best, all the positions along the way can offer you can opportunities to display leadership. You can lead from where you are. If you are not positioned up front, or in the corner office, your contribution and influence still matters. Seeing influence and contributions as key attributes to leadership is as important as positioning.
If you change your thinking about leadership your position may follow. Remember Jesus was a servant leader, he lead by serving others.
Do you know this person? They are the friend or colleague who is always pursuing a new business or asking you to support them in a new venture. Over the years I have been approached by many talented, excited, wonderful people who have big dreams and plans for a new business that they believe will improve their life and mine. It may be for a new product, and new way of life, new diet, exercise machine, candles, oil, vacuum cleaner, make-up, a phone system… the list goes on. Regardless of who it is, or what has excited them, they have wanted me to support them with either a purchase or becoming someone to will also preach the gospel of how great the product, service or lifestyle is.
If you know someone like that, then perhaps your reaction was similar to mine. You love them and want them to succeed, so the first two or three things they bring to you you try to support. I have hosted many “parties” in my home trying to support people who are trying to get their business off the ground and bought many products for the same reason. I am still happy with my vacuum, but would not pay that price again for another one. Or you become convinced that if you join them you too can have added income and improve your life situation, this kind of support I have successfully resisted. The thing however that is troubling is when you see your friend or colleague either lose their passion for the new venture, and cease promoting it, or just switch to another business or venture with a similar passion. Why didn’t the first venture work out? Why are they not now fulfilling that dream they told you about and you supported them in?
I am a fan of dreaming big. There is nothing wrong with a big dream. The challenge is to move that dream into a goal. The difference between a dream and a goal is a plan. Many people will enter business ventures looking to improve their lives but they don’t have a plan that is their plan. Along with the business venture they may be trained in the creator of the venture’s plan, i.e. how to sell and market the product for friends and families; however they never developed their own plan that is specific to their circumstances and vision. Therefore when the plan given to them doesn’t produce the results the venture’s creator promised they become frustrated and abandon it to start looking for another way to approach their dream be it of greater wealth, better health, or improved skills.
This is where a life coach can become a valuable asset. A life coach, similar to a fitness coach will work with you to customize a plan to achieve your dreams. They will help you move it from a dream to a goal, a SMARTER goal; Specific, Measurable, Action driven, Realistic, Time bound, Educated, and Responsible. By holding you responsible they are able to give you guidance and redirection, helping you to stay on track with this goal. Unfortunately many people believe that throwing money at a dream is the way to achieve it. Others believe that it takes talent to achieve a dream. I teach that while money and talent are great what it really takes is committed time and effort. Regardless of what the dream, without committed time and effort, money gets wasted, talent gets unnoticed. So the next time you or someone you know has a big dream and wants to share it, encourage them to explain it within the framework of a SMARTER goal. You can still be excited for them, but remember there is no substitute for a commitment of time and sustained effort.
Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success. Proverbs 15:22