Becoming a Breakthrough Leader

When Bellrock is helping companies solve their biggest challenges, whether they are sales, operations, or people related, sooner or later someone asks how we know the solutions will work. The answer is simple. Best practices work (by definition) but the impact they will have is always determined by the strength of the leadership.

The next question is also predictable. “Do you think I am a strong leader?” The answer to that is another question: “Well – what do you think a leader is?” If they can answer off the top of their head, we’re likely working with one of the best.

A leader’s definition of leadership is not what determines their strength. The strength is simply in having some kind of definition top of mind – a goal to strive toward, daily and always – that they believe describes a “leader”.

So take a moment. What do you think a Leader is?

There are lots of definitions out there but if you don’t have a succinct definition on the tip of your tongue, odds are good you have room for improvement. It’s difficult to execute on anything when you don’t have a clear goal in mind, and that includes effective leadership.

Practicing Leadership

Leadership is something you get better at over time – it requires practice. Take these steps to incrementally improve your leadership performance. Incremental improvement everyday will result in significantly better results over time.

  1. Develop your own definition of leadership.
  2. Find ways to demonstrate this habit.
  3. Define the questions you can ask yourself every day to see if you lived up to the definition.
  4. Practice daily.

For example, if you think part of leadership is “Inspiring others to Act” then at the end of the day, ask yourself “what did I do to inspire another person today?”

The Advanced Leadership Class

If the answer to the last question above isn’t “perfectly”, you can use a clear method to identify how to improve and get closer to your own definition of a leader. Ask yourself:

  1. What is the conversation you aren’t having that is holding you back from being a great leader?
  2. Who are you not having it with?
  3. Why aren’t you having it?
  4. What would be different if you did have it?
  5. What’s the worst thing that could happen if you have that conversation? What if you didn’t have that conversation?

Most leaders are made, not born. Yes, there is talent involved in being a leader but like great athletes, great leaders work hard at practicing their craft every day. You can be a great leader, you just need to decide it is what you are willing to work for.

Written By:
Tara Landes

Tara Landes is the Founder and President of Bellrock. She has spent over 20 years consulting and training in small to medium-sized enterprises. A sought-after speaker on a wide range of business topics, Tara has delivered workshops and seminars at conferences and industry associations across Canada. Tara obtained a BA (Honours) in Political Science from the University of Western Ontario (UWO) and earned an MBA from UWO's Richard Ivey School of Business.

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