When, as a spotty twenty-something-year-old, I first became responsible for the performance of others, it seemed that Leadership was something I had to learn, with a syllabus of skills to be mastered. I was immersed in training and reading about delegation, planning, time management, managing performance… the list was endless!
As a Business Coach, supporting Owners and Directors seemed to be about teaching them to lead through coaching and education; until I noticed otherwise.
In fact, there are just four simple elements of performance that commercial leaders need to master.
Everyone has the capability and the toolset to be a great leader, but they must be willing to get out of their way to access it. This means understanding and letting go of the beliefs and ideas that stop you from accessing the leadership capabilities you already have.
The skill (if you can call it that) is to become aware of what it is that affects how you show up in the different situations you encounter and how to hack that state when necessary.
It’s an element of performance I refer to as ‘calibration’.
Learning to calibrate themselves has helped the Directors and Managers I have worked with:
· move from boredom, frustration and stuck-ness to excitement, inspiration and momentum.
· figure out new and exciting ways to inspire and lead their teams forward to pursue more significant outcomes.
· access levels of confidence and resilience they never knew they had.
· create big shifts of the needle on their commercial metrics.
You have access to your FIVE LEADERSHIP SUPERPOWERS.
This happens when you’re well calibrated to the situations you encounter in driving your company forward.
CLARITY – the ability to see and act on the known and unknown in a situation instead of the assumptions and generalisations most people operate with daily.
CONNECTION – the ability to initiate and build purposeful commercial relationships with others so that you inspire, influence, and gain their commitment to buy from you, advocate for you or work hard for you.
COMMITMENT – the ability to select and commit to a course of action in the face of uncertainty and the obstacles that will emerge in the commercial world.
CURIOSITY – the ability to notice and explore new ideas and perspectives instead of being stuck in old patterns of thinking and responding.
CREATIVITY – the ability to create solutions to problems and to identify new ways to move forward.
Everyone has access to these abilities; they are built in. There is no development or upgrade needed, yet they can often appear elusive when we need them, so what gets in the way?
“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” Anais Nin
To access these abilities, you need to be able to see beyond your personal mythology. This is the internal framework of perspectives, rules, and beliefs you have developed to help you navigate life. Your mythology mediates your perspective, the ideas you have, the decisions you make and the actions you do or don’t take.
It’s a unique personal model of the world (and yourself) that you have been developing since childhood (which means there are currently upwards of 7.5 billion versions of reality out there).
In any situation, this model does one of two things. It either moves you forward, or it holds you back. The presence and impact of this noise in the system are vitally important for you to grasp. It’s also at the heart of the work I do with people.
My job is to get my clients what they want in terms of commercial outcomes and, of course, their experience of being a Business Leader.
This involves helping you to operate outside of your story, where it is necessary to get you out of your own way.
I’ve seen people (and entire companies) struggle under the weight of their mythologies when just a few simple shifts in perspective have opened tremendous new possibilities and options for them.
So, the next time you are feeling stuck, frustrated, or confused, think about which of the five superpowers are you getting in the way and what might be hidden in your blind spots. Breakthrough is just one new thought away.