The greatest challenge to anyone is not the ability to look at someone else and accurately assess their strengths and weaknesses. It is far more difficult to look inside and determine where you stand and what drives you to success or failure. At the macro level of existence, the measure of a leader, manager, guru, or anyone who looks back and has followers is gauged in the impact they have on the lives of those who choose to follow him. But there is much more to the story than the sum of the group of individuals who want to follow someone else. The grander picture is the internal story of knowing oneself that compels that person to drive forward to complete a vision and connect to the greater masses. The ABC philosophy of leadership and knowing oneself creates the foundation for people to understand and connect to their inner person. Then, armed with these insights one can improve their ability to lead and make a greater impact on the people who follow them.
A: Ability and Ambition
Where ever you are in life, be it at work, a parent, or anything else, try to accurately gauge your ability at what is important to you right here and now. You probably already realize you are better at some tasks and worse at others. It’s simple, no one is perfect. However, in reality you are probably not as good and probably a little worse than you think at tasks. Take an internal look and realistically gauge your abilities. Look at the real you, warts and all, not just the imagined you. The take the leap and ask your peers, subordinates, and friends how effective you are a different tasks. Create the overall picture and determine what you truly need to change. Then do one thing better each day till you become the person you aspire to be.
What is your ambition? What is the internal desire which drives you to take action and reach the next level? Do you know? If you are a store clerk, manager, or senior executive we all have ambition. The difference comes through the knowing where you want to go, and then developing a realistic plan which compels one to overcome their fear to take the first step. No one can force someone else to take the first step, but only show then the path and reassure then that it is safe to walk on. Again, what is your ambition and what is stopping you? By taking the first step, you at least know you made the attempt and will not go through life in wonderment of what could have been if you only tried.
B: Beliefs and Behavior
Somewhere in the deep reassesses of your mind your beliefs are secretly influencing your decisions is the belief pattern that developed over a life time. For every act that is presented to you, solicit and equal response based on your customs, traditions and beliefs. It’s automatic. Most of the time there are no consequences. Other times you are praised or condemned by your reactions. By taking an introspective look into your own belief patterns you can better understand why you do what you do and why you react the way you do. Maybe your beliefs are based in an outmoded mental program that you will realize needs to be updated. Maybe you realize that your beliefs are sound and need to be reinforced. Sometimes they evolve and you didn’t know you had gone through the transformative process. Regardless of the version of your brain operating program, understanding your beliefs allows you the mechanisms to tailor your interactions with the people around you.
How do you behave around people when you are happy, sad, or confrontational? Are you consistent in action or do you harbor emotions until they boil over? Do you know what sets you off? The answer to these seemingly simple questions greatly impacts the people around you. By understanding one’s behaviors allows for the anticipation and mitigation of unwanted reactions to situations as they arise. Then, instead of acting inappropriately, one can act in such a way to mitigate negative events and amplify positive ones.
C: Courage and Commitment.
It takes tremendous courage to take a look inside oneself and examine to the deepest corners to see what drives us. The most effective and truly influential people took the leap and observed what causes them to think and act the way they do. Some made remarkable transformations, while others simply accepted who they are with a clearer understanding of themselves. But they all stopped waiting for something to happen to them. They went on the offensive to take charge of their own destiny. The no longer held their emotions in check to explode at a later time. They utilized the power stored in their emotional batteries and focused the energy to resolve problems in a positive a positive manner.
When making any changes the test comes to your commitment to make the changes over time. Like a New Year’s Eve resolution it is easy to backslide to behaviors that stifle your growth as a leader. It takes 28 days to make new neural connections in the brain that allow you to automatically behave in your new positive manner. But, it takes a life time of commitment to self-evaluate and ensure you are making the necessary changes that allow you to be the synergetic catalyst that makes a positive difference in the people around you.
You are only as good as you choose to be using the ABC method of leadership. Instead of looking at your followers or people you influence and look internally at what drives you to think and act the way you do. Then, you can make the changes that create change in your life that positively impact those of people around you.