The two skills that every leader needs for success can be practiced, refined, and honed. I’d like to assume that because you’ve found me and this precious space of Wednesdays With Wayne that you’re probably already pretty good at one of them.
The first is the place from which you build trust. It is only when you say what you intend and then congruently take action that you show true credibility. Are you living authentically or are you one person in one situation and someone else with different values and goals in another? Certainly, our behavior and demeanor might change situationally. Personal values and integrity do not change however. What this means is that though you might behave on a range of behavior whether you’re at the grocery store or in a board meeting, your values will come through. If you value people, you won’t be condescending to a clerk and professionally poised in front of your work-group. And it is this one, the skill of credibility, founded in the value of integrity, that you are likely good at already. If you find yourself in a space of questioning “what do they want from me,” you might need to do some reflecting on, “who am I at my core?” and simply be more of that. When you accentuate who you are and live congruently, you attract the right people to you.
Be you, live from your values, and do what you say you’re going to do. Lead the way and you’ll demonstrate credibility.
The second skill is a little more difficult, especially for my friends who are a weeeeeee bit controlling. For those of you who need to control the details down to the minutiae, you’ll need to practice flexibility. When small upsets throw you off of your day or the plan, you’ll need to practice flexibility. When you can set a direction and you are clear about your outcome, you are invoking credibility. When you can let go of the notion that to get there is a direct/straight line, you are drawing upon flexibility.
I travel quite a lot. This week I’m in a pretty cold part of the country and flights get cancelled regularly when there’s snow. A couple of days ago, I woke up before my alarm. I checked the status of my flights for the day and found that one leg had been cancelled. I could be stuck in the middle of the country and would miss my meeting because the next flight out wasn’t until the next morning.
Credibility is getting to the outcome that I intended.
Flexibility is staying agile enough to move where needed to support the intended outcome.
I didn’t book my flight for the next morning. And I didn’t give up.
I rerouted so that I flew into a completely different state. From there, I took ground transportation to get to where I needed to be.
How many times in life or in business have we found things to be too hard, so we wait until the path gets easier? I’ve worked with businesses who just change the deadline or lower the target goals because, well gosh, it just got hard.
How about personally? Do you have financial or health goals? And… how are you doing?
Credibility demands that you keep your goals clearly stated and your behavior clearly aligned with your values. Flexibility is a skill that you can draw upon by asking something that I often taught to my martial arts students, “what’s available to me now?”
Think about a goal you want to attain.
Now consider how you can get there. What are all the different ways of getting there? And in terms of being agile and turning quickly to employ flexibility, ask, “what’s available to me now?”
Agility can be practiced, refined, and honed. Practice while driving, while eating lunch, while shopping.
You’ve got some mad skills, dear leader. Let them shine. Show your credibility and stay flexible. You’re about to light the fuse for an amazing New Year full of Significance!