There is a commercial that talks about not wanting to be just good, but be great. Don’t settle for less than what you can be. That makes perfect sense. If you are a leader and are responsible for people, performance and production, you really should have no other mindset than to be great.
Attaining greatness is a long term pursuit. Some achieve it sooner than others but the fact is that very few people stumble into greatness. It takes dedication and a LOT of work. In my personal journey while I am still in hot pursuit of getting there, one thing I have found to be unconditional to growth is that it takes short term victories to attain long term success. What I mean by this is you need to have a strategy to win every day!
Five “Up’s” to Greatness:
Notice the term unconditional in my statement above? What does that mean? Does it mean to do what is needed only when it’s easy, or when you feel like it? Does it mean only when you are pushed back up against a wall? REALLY? Unconditional means “no other options”. It means developing habits that create auto-pilot behavior! Here are five things you as a leader MUST do every day in your pursuit.
1. Get Up! That’s right. I said it…GET OUT OF BED with a skip in your step. The first thing you think about as you get up will set the pace for your day. This is why it is CRITICAL that you control the FIRST THOUGHTS that come to mind. Is it another great day for opportunity or is it another day of making a means to an end? Are you blessed and thankful that you GET TO go to work or are you frustrated because you HAVE TO? Make sure your self-talk conversations are positive every morning when you start your day. What you are THINKING is what you are BRINGING to your workplace! As a leader there may be nothing more important. GET UP!
2. Show Up! Be the first to appear and when you do be the catalyst, be the energy. Leaders cannot hide in the masses at any point during the day. You must be relevant. Your team is looking to you. You can never take the role as a spectator. When you show up, you are ready to go the moment the game starts and you play until the whistle blows. Show Up!
3. Set Up! Set the stage every day for your team to win! This is up to you! Before the day begins you need to set the tone, the expectations and the means of doing all you can to help you team be successful. Your team is riding on the ship that you are steering and they will go where you take them. Does your workplace ALWAYS feel like a positive, opportunistic environment? As a member of your team when I arrive, do I believe today is another day to win…Set Up!
4. Step Up! You must be viewed as the “Go-To” person, the one who “wants the ball” in crunch time. You need to step up and train others how to develop the “give me the ball” mentality. You must INVEST in your players! Every team has go-to players. They EXPECT to be the person who takes the final shot, and they ACCEPT the responsibility even if they miss. Regardless, they still look to taking the next clutch shot again and again with great anticipation! Step Up!
5. Serve Up! You as a leader will never gain more respect and trust from you team than when you become a servant. Great leaders understand the more they are responsible for, the higher degree of service required. Find a way to make someone’s day every day. I coached Little League Baseball for many years and I was amazed how hard a young man would play for you with just simple recognition of effort! It was clear one of the main reasons our teams were GREAT was because our players actually want to be on our team! Does the same hold true for you? Serve Up!
These five “up’s” when developed habitually, will open the doors to significant opportunities and growth. They create the environment and the approach to win every day. Days turn to months, months to years and with a blink of an eye, you will find yourself closer and closer to greatness.
Finally, as I wrap up, let me remind you again…this is a pursuit, a long term pursuit. Please know the difference in pursuing and chasing something. Unlike the game of tag you played as a kid where you opted for chasing the slowest kid on the playground or the closest, easiest player to no longer be “IT”, pursuit is defined by a purpose and a passion…where failure is not an option.
Best wishes as you pursue greatness every day!