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Becoming a Leader...with Knowledge, Importance, and Action

As individual contributors, it is often “hit or miss” when receiving individualized, dedicated training and a focused effort to develop skills by your leader. We understand this is true in many cases and see evidence of this everywhere we look. So what do you do as that dedicated, hard-working individual who wants to succeed and move up in your career or even in reaching your individual goals or in delivering your purpose?

As previously discussed, start by defining a clear and compelling purpose. It is imperative that you have an attainable objective that truly means something to you. Then, using the IMBAR pathway, develop an identity around that purpose to provide the mindset needed to create the correct behaviors that will influence the actions of those around you and ultimately produce the result, the desired purpose you seek.

These steps are critical to set you up for success, and they must be done with intent. This process establishes a strong, solid foundation to begin the steps of proactively moving to action while minimizing your own performance gaps and quickly identifying and closing them when they occur.

In Gapology, we discuss closing gaps as a process that is easily defined yet takes a considerable amount of work to deliver. As leaders, we use this process as an autopsy of results but also as a tool to prevent performance gaps proactively.

As Individual Contributors, you can do the same. Follow the steps below to ensure the behaviors you are exhibiting in the IMBAR pathway close your gaps:

Identify Knowledge Gaps

  • What do you know, and what do you not know? What skills do you have, and which ones don’t you have? Look at this through the lens of your objective. What elements do you need to succeed in reaching your purpose?

  • Close with Training, Teaching, and Talent. Proactively seek out the training. Reach out to mentors to provide coaching. Partner with talented people in your peer group or connect with them via social media or networking events. There are others like you out there who are willing to help.

Identify Importance Gaps

  • Do you understand the why’s behind what you do? You should have this pretty well clarified by having a strong purpose, but ensure the specific tasks are aligned with that as well and understand why they are important.

  • Close with Expectations, Communication, and Prioritization. If not clearly defined for you, reach out for clarity around the expectations and priorities set for you. If necessary, develop your own expectations and priorities and communicate them clearly with your supervisors and mentors.

Identify Action Gaps

  • What specific actions do you need to take to move closer to your purpose and objectives? Have you defined those actions and communicated them with your supervisor or mentor?

  • Close with Accountability, Commitment, and Culture. Communicating your defined actions with others helps to establish a culture of accountability and commitment to intentionally driving toward your goals.

Achieving your objectives takes all the elements discussed in this short series. It takes a clearly defined purpose and a focused identity, and it takes intentional action. So often, we decide on an objective and just work extremely hard to get there. And while hard work is absolutely a necessary part of this equation, working hard with a specific, defined strategy makes it easier to overcome any bumps in the road we inevitably encounter along the way. Leverage your knowledge of the Gapology methods as your strategy to win!

*Listen to our podcast discussion on this topic here:


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