Leaders are like everybody else. We don’t wake up every single morning thrilled to go to work. Often, we want to call in sick and go hiking, play tennis, or play hooky with our family.
But we don’t.
One thing that sets leaders and up-and-coming leaders apart from most people is our ability to generate the state of being ready and willing to lead. Even if we don’t instantly and automatically feel like leading, we can still shift our state of being to one in which we are ready and willing to lead — regardless of how we initially felt.
The Inner Game of the Leader: Are you ready and willing to lead? One can imagine a 2 X 2 matrix that puts people into four categories, based on whether they feel like leading or not, and whether they take action or not.
The four categories might be named as follows:
The Walking Dead: These are people who neither feel like leading nor take action. They are disengaged from company goals, employee interaction, and have no vested interest in developing a positive company culture.
Whiners and Procrastinators: These individuals feel like leading, but they don’t take any action. Instead, they either talk a big game and do nothing, or they complain a lot and do nothing. They are dreamers and wannabe’s.
The Lucky Few: These are the very small minority of people who feel like leading and wake up every day actually feeling like leading. They are truly blessed. Note that there are fewer of these people than you think, due to so many inauthentic motivational speeches by leaders who claim to love every single minute of their job. I have worked closely with some of these speakers, and they are lying.
Elegant Leaders: Finally, these leaders represent most people in leadership roles. These are the professionals who take action as leaders, and yet often don’t feel like leading. We find ways to be resilient. We have learned how to cope. We know how to generate the positive, proactive state that is required to make things happen – even if our default state is something very different. Being an Elegant Leader is what leadership is about for most of us. It is about being ready and willing to lead, even if we don’t naturally feel like it.
There are strategies we can put in place to make it easier to generate this state of being ready and willing to lead. We can make it a habit to tap into the attitudes that generate natural and authentic leadership, that shift us from not feeling like leading to being ready and willing to lead.
Once we learn how to do this, it becomes easier, more rewarding, more natural, and much more fun. Best of all, this work is grounded in psychological research; there is nothing fuzzy about it.
Question to you: which leader are you now or which leader do you want to become?
Would you like to learn more about how to tap into these states of peak performance? The Institute of Leadership and Strategy Advisors specializes in how to play the “inner game of leadership.” Once you discover how simple it is to put our methodologies to work for you, you will want to kick yourself for not it sooner. [email protected]