Utrecht, 15 August 2018 — Not achieving your goal yet? The question to ask yourself is if you are challenging yourself for change.
Setting ambitious goals takes work. Achieving them takes more work. So, the central question about growing your leadership is, are you doing the work?
If you are reaching your goals with relative ease, it's time to scale them up a notch or two, so it will be a real challenge to achieve them. Why?
Research shows that most of your growth as a leader comes from embracing challenges and persevering when the going gets tough. It's known as the 70:20:10 rule of leadership development.
So what kind of challenges should you go for?
Here are three types of challenges that you can choose from. Many of the leaders I work with take these on.
Type 1: Lifestyle Changes
This is a favorite area for many emerging leaders—of all ages—to start and continue practicing self-leadership. The changes to go for concern mostly yourself and your daily habits, which often involve releasing excess weight, shifting to a healthy diet, and developing healthy exercise habits.
The good news is that results can come fast when your practice is consistent. Keep in mind that making progress is a huge motivator to help you carry on as you overcome resistance and complacency. Making changes in your lifestyle is also an excellent arena to practice awareness and learn more about yourself as you start your Body Dialogue.
Once you achieve your significant lifestyle changes, you will find that your self-confidence has grown exponentially, allowing you to take on larger leadership challenges that involve working with other people.
Type 2: Public Speaking
The second type of challenge that most emerging leaders embrace is to practice and improve their public speaking. And not just in front of a hall of people. Talking with anyone other than yourself will qualify as public speaking versus... having dialogues with yourself. There are many ways of public speaking, and most leaders keep working on this challenge for a longer time.
The leaders that I work with use the Work In All Colors method to decode their audience, which can range from one person to a team or small meeting, up to a larger audience. Learning to speak their audience's language (rather than their own) helps to dramatically improve communication for results.
Taking on the challenge of public speaking, which also involves developing your skills to be an excellent listener, will help you to transform your life and work, allowing you to see the world around you as if through new glasses.
Type 3: More Leadership Roles
The third type of challenge that most emerging leaders working with me take on is to develop their competences to play one or more new leadership roles.
My collaborating partner André Taylor and I have identified six leadership roles that suit the needs of nonexecutive leaders so that you don't have to wait to embrace this challenge until you have assumed a position of authority. You can read about the six leadership roles here.
Review the six leadership roles, determine which of these has your natural preference, then challenge yourself to learn and practice a new role that you are not yet familiar with. Taking on this challenge will allow you to contribute your leadership in more ways as you keep encountering new situations at work.
Of course, there are many more challenges to take on. If you want to stretch yourself in another direction and you're not sure what, then set up a call with me to discuss it.
I mentioned that 70% of your leadership growth will come from taking on challenges. The other two elements of the 70:20:10 rule are equally important though, as you will want to have your scores add up to a full one hundred.
The 20% contribution comes from investing in developmental relationships, such as working with a coach and several mentors, and getting regular high-quality feedback from your peers (and, in return, giving such feedback too).
And the 10% comes from continuously learning new things to help you on your leadership journey. This is relatively easy with the abundance of online materials you have at your disposal, including from reading this post.
Once you get the idea, go for a challenge! That's where you get the biggest bang for your buck. I'm not talking about one-day or one-week challenges. You need to do the work to achieve the change you have challenged yourself to.
I am looking forward to hearing from you what challenge you are going to take on after reading this post.