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Leadership Secret Four: Eliminate the Chokehold to Growth
Previously we discussed the quality of relationship mastery and how enhancing your capacity to connect on a very deep and personal level will enable you to break through limitations and give you the ability to lead to a new level. We also covered the value of time mastery, or understanding not only what’s most important to be done, but also when to get it done will produce the greatest impact. Today we’ll look at the additional core qualities of leadership, OWNERSHIP OF PURPOSE and FINANCIAL MASTERY.
OWNERSHIP OF PURPOSE
We’ve already talked about the importance of energy and emotional mastery. But what gives great leaders that fuel is that they understand that getting results is important, but purpose is stronger than outcome. WHY you want to do something is what gives you energy. I’ve found if you get a big enough “why,” you can figure out the how. Great leaders are purpose-driven. They know not only what to do, but why they are doing it and they are able to help other people tap into the power of WHY as well. The more you can share with people the driving purpose behind an outcome or activity, the more they’ll be able to tap into what they desire, believe in, or see as valuable. This is what can help you ignite your team to higher performance and make your leadership experience not only more effective, but also fulfilling.
A simple question to ask yourself, or anyone on your team is: how do you describe what you do for a living? Do you call it work? Your career? Or, is it your mission? These three words are very small, but their use will change the emotional content and the amount of psychological fuel you have to lead. If it’s work, then it tends to take more than it gives you. If it’s career, then it’s something you probably look forward to and invest more energy in than is absolutely necessary, and as a result you make progress. But if it’s your mission, it is a source of psychological and spiritual “juice.” It’s something that when you are doing it, time disappears. After all, how long is a long time? When you hate what you are doing a minute can feel like an eternity, but when you are enjoying yourself hours can go by and feel like minutes.
How would you rate your level of ownership of purpose? What level of ownership of purpose do you have in all that you do and how can you expand that to become a more effective leader?
Effective business leaders know that in order to thrive you can’t just leave people to get things done; you have to have an awareness and a certain level of mastery of financial numbers. You don’t have to be the CFO to lead an organization, but the more you understand about the real cost of time, resources, and people, then the more powerful the decisions you’ll make. You are leading the organization to be not only effective, but profitable and therefore you must have the capacity to grow and sustain the positive influence of the organization you lead.
Do you understand enough to lead the CFO of your organization? Not do their work for them, but do you understand what things mean so that you are never surprised by the profitability or lack thereof of any area of your business? If not, is this an area, or a set of skills, that would be useful for you to learn to master? How would you go about improving it if you were committed to it now?
Remember, the chokehold of any business is most powerfully affected by the psychology and skills of the leader. Not having financial skills can be incredibly destructive even to a leader who has extraordinary skills in every other area.
Next, in our final blog post on the Seven Core Qualities of Extraordinary Leaders, we’ll look at the final common principle of leadership, HONORING SUCCESS AND CELEBRATING VICTORY.