I want to live my life on purpose. As part of my on-going attempt to do so, each year in December, I look back at the previous twelve months. This assessment, if done well, can inform my decisions about the upcoming year. However, every annual review also surfaces gaps in my life and leadership.
For me these “opportunities” present a real challenge with no easy answer. But one step that is always helpful is to stop and ask, “What do I hold to be true?” I’ve found that when I’m well-grounded and can affirm what I really believe, I’m much more likely to make the necessary adjustments for the future.
I heard a talk years ago from a well-known leader in which he stated several statements he called his “I believes.” These beliefs shaped his life and leadership. The idea of articulating personal beliefs made sense to me then and it still does today.
Here are some things I believe about leadership:
- I believe the ability to think others first is the cornerstone of great leadership.
- I believe it is impossible to lead well without courage.
- I believe the best leaders accept responsibility for poor outcomes.
- I believe people follow leaders who create hope.
- I believe our capacity to grow determines our capacity to lead.
- I believe leaders are the architects of the future.
- I believe the vibrancy of a culture is a reflection of its leadership.
- I believe progress is always preceded by change and leaders drive change.
- I believe a leader’s ultimate success is measured by results and relationships.
- I believe a leader’s actions speak louder than his or her words.
- I believe everything rises and falls on leadership.
I’m not sure if this list helps you or not; I hope it does. It helps me as I move to finalize my plan for the new year. What’s on your top ten/eleven list?
Once we know what we believe, the next step is to live like we mean it. Unfortunately, that’s the harder part. Hey, if it were easy, everyone would do it.
Enjoy the journey!
Idea for Action: What do you believe about leadership?
Mark Miller is the best-selling author of 6 books, an in-demand speaker and the Vice President of High-Performance Leadership at Chick-fil-A. His latest book, Leaders Made Here, describes how to nurture leaders throughout the organization, from the front lines to the executive ranks and outlines a clear and replicable approach to creating the leadership bench every organization needs.