Who are you now? Who do you want to be? These two questions are paramount in the quest for success. These questions must be asked in order for any leader to understand their current results, image, relationships etc. which will then let them come to grips with the mindset, actions, beliefs, etc. that put them there.
Our current results are a product of our current behaviors and actions. Our actions are a product of our mindset and who we believe ourselves to be. We need to understand these things if we want to change them. If we want to be the president of our company and we are a stagnant mid-level manager now, we must alter how we see things. We must begin to raise our standards. What is acceptable to us now must be changed. We have to raise the bar and begin seeing things from a larger, more global and holistic perspective so that we can begin exhibiting the behaviors that will produce consistent, winning results that will get us recognized at a much higher level.
Superstar owners, CEOs, and presidents who are ultimately responsible for a company’s success or failure, see things from the perspective of ultimate responsibility. They don’t focus on the details without understanding the big picture. They don’t focus on the big picture without understanding the details. They ask, “How will this widget drive revenue and profits for the company?” Then they ask if the widget is the right widget or if there is a better widget that will perform at a higher level, cost less or contribute to higher productivity. And they also ask if they have the right people using that widget in the right ways. They don’t just accept the fact that the way things are today means that things always have to be that way.
Upsetting the apple cart means gaining the opportunity to see the apple cart for what it is. Is it the right tool? Is it being used correctly? Are the team members trained properly? Do they understand and believe in its importance? Do they believe that they are the best in whatever they do? This is the way to begin thinking and seeing things if we want to become a top leader, someone whom we aspire to be.
Our aspirations tend to get lost in the mundane of our daily lives. Who we are clouds who we want to be. It is natural. There are only 24 hours in a day and 365 days in a year and those days and hours get filled with all of the varied things we do throughout our lives. The trouble happens when the daily grind wears down our focus on the things that we truly want to achieve in our lives, so it takes an incredible amount of focus to keep our aspirations high and at the forefront of our minds. But we must. We must not lower our goals just because it is easier, we must not forget our dreams because of the reality of the world.
This is what makes superstars super. They dream of stardom, but they don’t just stop there. They make it the first thing and the last things that they think about each day. It consumes who they are and what they focus on. Then they get to work on developing the skills and knowledge that they will need, to ensure that they’re ready when the time comes for their big break. Superstars don’t just sit around and occasionally dream. Their dreams are daily…minute by minute, second by second…and while they are playing small dives or performing in community theatre or playing the local par 3 golf course, they are doing it with the passion, drive and commitment that is felt and shown by their idols and inspirations. They surround themselves with like-minded colleagues who have similar focuses and avoid those who are acceptant of mediocrity. They eliminate the detractors and those who quash their dreams and motivation. They don’t let anyone or anything get in their way.
Today, ask yourself, “Who am I? What are my results and what are the things that I am doing each day to achieve those results?” Then ask yourself, “Who do I want to be? What are the things I want to achieve?” Then go on to ask yourself if those aspirations are truly high enough. Are those things going to really make you feel like a success or are you setting your bar too low? Is mediocrity getting in the way or is the bar at the right height to make you truly happy? What fears are getting in the way? Why are you feeling those fears? Is there a way to eliminate or minimize them?
Write down your thoughts, your feelings, your goals, your fears. Look at them objectively and then once you’ve dissected them, determine what you are going to do about them. Are you going to continue to do the same things in the future that you are doing now? Are you going to expect those same things to deliver better results? Or are you going to get a focus around the specific behaviors that will help you achieve your goals. Are you going to set expectations for yourself and hold yourself accountable for meeting those expectations?
If a stagnant mid-level manager wants to be the president, he or she must begin aspiring to that level and that means thinking and feeling differently, behaving differently, acting differently and achieving different results. It all starts with understanding who he or she is today and who he or she truly aspires to be.
Who are you?