Leadership Excellence: Rewards or Risks?
With almost every element of life there are rewards and risks with the decisions we make. It’s scary, ambiguous, unpredictable and compromising – but can we really expect to achieve excellence without risking the comfort that comes with complacency?
That’s the question I pose to you today. Think hard and long before you answer. I think it will determine what you do and the direction you head. Therefore, it will define what you achieve.
Think of it like this. When a super successful person tells you her story, are you more excited about her achievements and her journey when she had to sacrifice a lot to get what she’s gotten? Or are you just as stoked when she tells you that everything she has was handed to her? I think we all know your answer if you’re anything like the average person. We love a good story that shows a lot of heart, determination and hard work. Why? Because we admire those people. They inspire us. They remind us of our potential. We all have greatness within us. What are we going to do with it? The answer lies within this question, do we focus more on the potential rewards or risks?
How to Focus on the Rewards of Leadership Excellence
Professionally and personally, we must break the bounds that hold us back if we want to reap the rewards we long to reach. Here are five of my solutions to stepping outside of our comfort zones:
- Do something different daily. Routine removes risk. You can’t take advantage of opportunities you fail to open yourself up to.
- Reflect on how risk-adverse you tend to be. Maintaining an awareness of what you tend to avoid can help you approach unfamiliar territory.
- Befriend the brave. Seek out those who approach life the way you want to.
- Be patient. Don’t expect yourself to be transformed in a week; instead, take minor steps in the direction you hope to head. Before you know it, you’ll be looking back on the life you once led, feeling empowered to take on what lies ahead.
- Find an accountability partner. The best way to break down the barriers that normally scare you into staying stationary is to tell someone else where you hope to make headway. This person should be someone supportive, who can encourage you in your efforts without shaming you when you slip.
Risking comfort and familiarity is hard work – but, here’s the best news: it’s not about what you get in the end, it’s about the process of your progress. That’s the real reward. What you learn, who you become and all you achieve in the meantime – is what really matters. Take it from someone who did the impossible – Amelia Earhart said, “The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward.”
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