“We cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are.”
~ Max Dupree
What have you dreamed of doing your whole life, but haven’t done it yet?
For many years, I dreamed of speaking to and training others, but I didn’t do it. You see, I had this fear of showing up and forgetting my name like I did when I was 15 years old and was asked to speak in front of a bunch of my peers. This memory held me back for a long time. I would even take F’s in college on speaking projects because of this fear.
I was stuck, being who I was instead of becoming what I wanted to be.
When I joined the military, it was a perfect training ground for me. If you want to grow and get promoted in the military, you must be able to talk in front of others. Since I was a highly motivated, achievement and growth determined person, I was going to do what I needed to do to get promoted.
I began putting myself into small roles that required more speaking skill - speaking and inspiring and teaching others. I would volunteer to teach things I had no clue how to teach, but I would learn and then teach others.
You see, I knew that in order to become what I wanted to be, I had to change who I was and what I feared. Before I left the Army, I was teaching and speaking to people who far outranked me. I had built my new belief.
Now, I didn’t say I had overcome all fear, but I am now able to get up and speak in front of hundreds or thousands. I still get nervous or more anxious but am able to push through this and use the energy to focus and succeed.
One of my goals for several years was to use video to teach and train. When you look at my face (I have a face for radio), you will understand why I have avoided the camera most of my life. I have never been comfortable looking at myself. Most people aren’t, by the way. Early on in beginning this process I would over critique and criticize myself.
I spent several years now recording leadership lessons in front of a camera, or even on The Lead Up Podcast and I have given many speeches in front of a camera. I am getting more comfortable. I am becoming something new, by changing who I am, no longer remaining who I was.
I do not share any of this to impress you, but to impress upon you that no matter what or who you think you are, you can become who you want to become by simply working the process of becoming better.
You don’t have to settle for where you are.
In leadership, if you are not constantly growing, then you are dying as a leader. You have to constantly keep working on the skills that gain you more influence. And as soon as you think you have it down and begin to settle, you will begin to run up against obstacles.
I see it over and over again with CEO’s. They are good to a certain point, but once they hit all the low hanging fruit of an organization they have to move to a new organization. This is because they are not developing new skills, just simply relying on the ones they already have. And then they wonder why they face the same problems everywhere they go.
“We cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are.” ~ Max Dupree
Max reminds us to grow, evolve, and sharpen our skills if we want something to be different in our lives. I hope you will take this advice and create a growth plan for yourself for next year.
One of the services I offer to help leaders remain in a state of growth is The Art & Science of Leadership Virtual Academy.
In the academy, we already have a ton of resources and add more each month. I hope you will join the community of growing leaders with me.
I am a needle mover, and I will not leave you where you are today.
Lead Up Exercise
Where are you stuck?
Stuck stinks…get unstuck!
What skill or lack thereof is affecting your leadership ability the most?
Make a plan to develop this skill next year. You can end next year with results…or regret. This is your chance to make the better choice…the choice to get unstuck.