Working Hard to Accelerate Your Results as a Leader
In leadership, as with most things in life, working hard is often required to reap the rewards. To bench press 300 pounds, we must start lifting weights that are a bit smaller than we hope to one day handle. To bike 80 miles, we must practice pedaling shorter increments. To excel in calculus, we must fumble through foreign formulas until they become familiar. This same concepts relates to effective leadership.
Anytime we want to do something well – there’s an open invitation on the table to practice. There should also be a warning: “You are about to venture out of your comfort zone. Are you sure you’re ready?”
When you want to get in shape, and you’re determined to do it at any cost, you welcome the pains and strains. You expect them. In fact, sometimes, these aches are our way of acknowledging that we’re doing things differently with our bodies. When you look in the mirror or get on the scale, it all becomes worth it. The physical cost and the physical benefit are fairly easy to assess at all times. When you’re not getting the results you want, you have the opportunity to change course to see if another way will work better. And when you decide it’s not worth it, you sadly realize that positive results are really unlikely to show up on the scene any time soon. You stop expecting the rewards or the disappointment because you’ve stopped – altogether.
Becoming a Better Leader
So, why is it that when we decide we want to be a better manager or lead at a higher level, we don’t expect that the same hardship will be a part of the process? All too often, when individuals embark upon the journey of learning how to lead well, they stop dead in their tracks, surprised at the resistance they encounter. But, don’t we all know by now that going against the grain always requires more work? It builds strength. It establishes endurance. Neither is possible if effort isn’t part of the equation.
I think one of the best things someone can do if they start to dream of bigger and better things for him/herself – is to realistically assess the challenges that will come with the unfamiliar territory. By forming reasonable perspectives and expectations, you are less likely to get discouraged by the bumps in the road. If you anticipate the worst and prepare for the hardest, you can only be pleasantly surprised by the less-prominent potholes that get in the way. It’s not about maintaining a pessimistic perspective – no, no, no – it’s about being practically hopeful. On this note, this also means that if you think you’re an all-star leader, but you’ve never done a darn thing like working hard to improve… I’d reassess your all-star status.
Working Hard, Leading Well
Don’t let hard work discourage you. Managers can accelerate their results quickly by learning to communicate and coach well. You don’t have to know everything about leadership to rise to the top. You just have to know a little more than others about leading and motivating people. The difference between winning and losing is often slight (like in track and field events, hundredths of second) Let the challenge inspire you to become one of the elite who lead well. Good leaders aren’t a dime a dozen, and there’s a reason: the work isn’t always easy, and it’s only the dedicated nonpareils that persist and prevail. They also achieve superior results. Hard work increases your talent and beats talent that doesn’t work hard.
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