4 Steps To Achieving Success In Your Leadership Career
I’ve been doing the usual period of self-reflection over the past couple of weeks and realised that the times in my life when I’ve been most successful have been the times when I’ve inadvertently followed a similar process.
I say inadvertently as until a few days ago I wasn’t aware I actually had a process — but it turns out I do. And here it is.
Having a dream/ a goal/ a vision, coupled with action, really works.
In 2002 I moved to South East Asia with my then 9-year old son, as a single mum. At the time I was a teacher, and we spent five years there, followed by three years in Central America.
Before we moved back to the UK in 2010, I’d decided I wanted to leave and set up my business. I had a couple of ideas and did a few short courses to try them out and see if what I fancied doing actually suited me. It did, so I enrolled on a substantial course for when I returned.
I also started to research the world of business in the UK and found details of two networking groups in the city I planned to move back to. Fast forward a few months, and once I started networking, because my Reticular Activating System (my RAS) had been alerted, those groups popped up for me pretty quickly and I joined both of them.
We’d moved to a city here in the UK where we knew two people. In those networking groups I learned huge amounts about business, created a network, made friends and began the process of building a brand and reputation for myself.
None of this at the time seemed deliberate, but looking back now I’d instinctively followed a process; having a dream gave my brain something to aim for and taking focused action ensured I got there — a potent combination, that, along with the right timing and good choices, fuelled success.
I’m following this process for my 2017 goals. Finishing book 2 (at long last), being interviewed on 50 podcasts and delivering 4 rounds of my new online group programme for emerging leaders, being just some of them.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again — you don’t need a magic wand to be successful. If you want to lead more powerfully this year, then follow this process to help you.
1. Can you visualise a different future and can you see yourself as part of that? How clear is it? What emotional connection do you have to it? Can you see, hear and imagine what it feels like to be the kind of leader you aspire to?
2. Then begin taking action, one small step at a time. Do some research, make contacts, join a group, speak to people. Lead without the title if that’s what it takes. Lead by example. Let someone know your ambitions. Inform yourself, educate yourself and try out your goal for size. Do something to make it happen, bit by bit.
3. Make informed choices. Don’t guess and wish. Observe current market trends in your industry or sector, know what is predicted and what choices you actually have — and whether those are going to suit you. What opportunities are arising and are you well-placed to seize them?
4. Make sure the time is right for success. Does your vision match your current life stage, values, priorities and circumstances? How long will it take to achieve and can you give your leadership goals the time and attention they need? Is it the right time for the other people that may be impacted or involved?
If developing your leadership is a goal for you this year, then I can help. Maybe you’re after a new role, or you want to lead your own business — either way, you’ll need to look, sound and feel like a leader before anyone else will appreciate you as one. You can download 5 Steps To Develop Your Leadership Presence as a starting point.
I’m Susan Ritchie, the creator of The Leadership Presence Blueprint, which helps individuals and organisations to develop the credibility, visibility and gravitas they need to create more impact — for themselves, their team and their organisation.