Transform Your Leadership “Why” Into Your Ideal Career

Key Insights:

  • It is essential to find the reasons why you have been called to a leadership career in order to achieve your true potential
  • The process of finding your leadership “why” requires you to tap into your self-awareness
  • Engaging in this process on your own can be difficult, and even quite scary
  • Fortunately, leaders can lean on others to help them rise to a new level with a strong sense of “why” they want to lead

Recently, I asked you what you want your leadership “why” to be. This may have seemed like a simple question. After all, every leader has a solid idea about “why” they want to lead, right? Well, one thing I’ve learned over the years in my role as a coach and leadership-development expert is that many leaders never explore why they want to lead.

This is not a trivial concern or an intellectual exercise; knowing why you want to lead and why you have felt a calling to a leadership career is crucial to your success in your leadership role.

Once you have determined your personal leadership “why,” it is possible to use it as a springboard that launches you to the place where you want to take your leadership. Your ideal leadership career is within your reach, but you must be focused on the genuine, authentic reasons for leading. Otherwise, you run the risk of spreading yourself – and your influence – thin.

Furthermore, when leaders fail to focus on their leadership “why,” they can lose their identities and become fickle; without a guiding principle or “north star,” a leader is much more prone to being wishy-washy or indecisive – qualities that are decidedly not conducive to success for those in leadership roles.

Finding your leadership “why” is essential, but it can also be quite difficult. Fortunately, there are tools you can use to help you zero in on the ideas, values and goals that will form your personal leadership “why.”

Becoming an Objective Observer of Yourself

You cannot find your authentic leadership “why” without first developing a healthy sense of self-awareness. In my experience, leaders who are self-aware have no trouble describing and focusing on their reasons for leading. They know their “why” inside and out, and every decision they make is aligned with their core values.

Leaders who fail to practice self-awareness often develop distorted, inflated or just plain inaccurate visions of themselves. They might be able to describe “why” they want to lead, but their behavior may be inconsistent: Often they are reacting vs. being proactive and intentional in their actions. This is because they have not taken the time to truly tune into themselves, and as a result, the leadership they provide may seem aimless and uninspiring. They may be able to use their influence to make notable things happen, but there is no focus or consistency.

You need to have a developed sense of self-awareness in order to find your leadership “why.” Otherwise, you will stop short of what really drives you, with a tendency to lean into relatively superficial reasons: Money, status, influence, a nice office, etc. It’s perfectly fine to enjoy these perks of leadership, but they should never form the basis of your desire to lead. If they do drive you, then you probably need to work on developing your sense of self-awareness and spend some time exploring the emotional and intellectual aspects of why you have stepped into leadership.

Be Fearless

The world is full of people in leadership positions who lack self-awareness. These leaders are not necessarily terrible at their jobs, but they often fail to inspire their people, drive engagement or act as visionaries for their respective organizations. Some of them see no reason to search for their leadership “why” or to develop a stronger sense of self-awareness. The status quo works just fine for them, even though their teams and organizations may suffer.

Other leaders recognize the power of self-awareness and the value in searching for one’s leadership “why.” However, they might be afraid or reluctant to further explore these areas because they seem intimidating and uncomfortable.

I have met many individuals who are quite comfortable with the status quo and like to live in a world that feels safe and comfortable. But if you are feeling a need to go deeper, explore your “why” and become more self-aware, I can help you develop a sense of fearlessness.

The truth is that, for many people, there is nothing scarier than the unexplored areas of their own minds. Developing self-awareness requires coming face to face with one’s weaknesses and shortcomings and being vulnerable. It also means being completely honest about one’s abilities. I get why people are scared to go deep and I am here to tell you that the rewards that await on the other side of self-awareness are well worth the difficulties you will have to endure to achieve them.

Find Your Leadership “Why” With Help from Leaders Edge!

If you have a strong desire to explore your self-awareness and find your leadership “why,” you have to work from the inside out, which can be very challenging. Something that helps tremendously is having a fresh and different perspective on the process. In other words, this process can happen much more smoothly and effectively when you have a helping hand.

I have worked with countless leaders over the years to help them develop their self-awareness and locate their respective leadership “why.” For some of them, it was useful to have an honest, unbiased partner to help them go deeper and develop their leadership abilities. For others, it was helpful to have a source of motivation from outside the organization. For all of them, it was critically important to improve and transcend to the next level of leadership.

If you are ready to hone your self-awareness and find your true, authentic leadership “why,” Leaders Edge is here to help!

Are you ready to get started or to learn more? Great! I invite you to give me a call today at 1.855.871.3374 or send me an email at Together, we can find your “why!”

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