I’ve always been curious about why things happen the way they do. Typically, I have many more questions than answers. Through years of experience, I have come to learn how valuable it is to be curious when trying to understand something.
I have always agreed with Stephen Covey in his book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, where he identified that a key habit is to begin with the end in mind. It seems to me that most habits I observe are derived from a historical perspective. In other words, using the tried-and-true methodology of What Used to Work. From my observations there does not seem to be many habits formed with the Where We Are Going outlook.
That confuses me, which — to be frank — is sometimes not hard to do.
With a traditional system of operations that relies on using data from where you’ve been to create the pathway for where you are going, you’re setting yourself up for stale, and probably outdated, approaches to your business or association. Imagine, if you will, the captain of a ship who only used bearings from where they had just been in order to set a reliable course for where they are going. I just do not understand that logic.
No ship captain working very long can navigate successfully using data from where they have been. Big thinkers and change makers can’t navigate like that either.
You have to have accurate data points navigating you to your destination. Why is it that so many of us find it so difficult to apply this process? I asked my first professional mentor that very question, and the answer, while so simple, was an astounding revelation for me.
Before we go any further on that simple revelation, I must ask you…Do you have a professional mentor?
In my career I was fortunate to have three traditional professional mentors. I say ‘traditional’ because at a certain level of experience you need to fill your reservoir with understanding and wisdom of experienced leaders. Three individuals who took an interest in me and my curiosity helped feed my unlimited capacity to ask why.
Most great leaders love to share and help other people grow. However, they need to be asked and the ask must be sincere.
At some point in your leadership development you will be asked to be a mentor and share your experiences. It is a wonderful opportunity to have mentors and a great honor to be a mentor.
As a developing professional, creating connections with those that are more seasoned sets you up for wisdom beyond your years of experience. Finding a mentor is a great supplement to help you understand today’s challenges.
My first professional mentor shared with me the importance of understanding simple truths. That most businesses and individuals made things much too complicated. I will be forever grateful to this wonderful man who set me up for success in my professional journey.
I know I still have not shared the simple revelation from my first mentor. But before I do, I feel compelled to share one more discovery I’ve unlocked along this journey. That is using the Law of Intention. This law, if really implemented, will change the way you lead and the way others perceive you as a leader.
It would be way too easy to just leave it at the advice to “keep looking in that direction and you will get there!” Way too easy. The hard part of navigating for the future is communicating your intentions in a way that and others can understand and embrace.
Here at PureReinvention we are beginning to understand that the words used to signal intentions are the least powerful influencers. A majority of influence is made in signaling intentions through your behaviors. Your behaviors are powerful signals of what your true intentions really are.
Think for a minute how many times a leader’s words and behaviors are in conflict. Behaviors will win every time. A leader must have a simple and unmistakable intention of where they are going. The takeaway? Learn to develop intentional behaviors.
Are you ready for the simple revelation? Well, I was too and that made all the difference in how I received it.
You see, I was very frustrated by something that I thought was completely missed by the leaders I observed but so obvious to me. At that time — and I think now is very much the same — the marketplace was strongly communicating what they wanted to buy. And I was ready to sell (I still am). But for some reason I could not get the company I was working for to understand that they needed to listen to their customers.
So one day I asked my first mentor, “Why?” Why were the changes that seemed so necessary not happening? He looked at me, paused, and gave an answer that was so very simple I still marvel about it today. He replied, “Most people are afraid to take a risk.”If you are going to succeed you cannot be afraid to take the risk. Click To Tweet
Success is about taking a risk. Climb on and enjoy the ride.