As an early careerist, I felt an enormous pressure to be the perfect leader. I did not want to make a mistake, nor did I want to appear ignorant. Although in many situations I absolutely did and was clueless!
For several years, my growth was by accident. I wanted to get as far as I could before I got married and had kids. That by no means was an elaborate plan for success. Despite this, I was blessed to be exposed to great leaders and projects that helped hone my skills and set me apart as a change agent. I was fortunate to have great mentors who invested in my development. Unfortunately, it took me only so far. I felt that my hard work and a strong network would be enough. I had some of the necessary competencies to be successful however they were underdeveloped. My trajectory as an individual completely changed once I was exposed to leadership development three years into my career. It completely transformed my life both personally and professionally. It was during this time that I began to understand the concept of leadership muscles.
What is ‘leadership muscle’?
Leadership is the action of leading a group of people or organization towards a common goal to achieve impact. Leadership is also a muscle. ‘Leadership muscles’ are the competencies necessary to realize success and balance in your life. These competencies are Self-awareness, Self-management, Relationship management, Decision making and Stress Management. Remarkably like the muscles within our bodies, with continuous development, over time these competencies allow you to have confidence (strength) and a balanced well-being.
How do you develop your ‘leadership muscle’?
The great news is that you do not have to be an expert in all areas at once. To get started, you can benefit greatly from spending time reflecting on the following questions:
In your personal or professional life, where can you focus your attention with the greatest impact?
Are you required to demonstrate change in this area within a specified period?
Who must benefit most from your development?
What are the 1-2 competencies (muscles) that are most important to focus on now?
Next consider partnering with a coach or leader to help you process these questions and take steps towards crafting a development plan. I would rather you learn from my ignorance. A personal/professional coach will partner with you to help you ‘lean in’ to your life; challenge you in ways you may not be comfortable and celebrate your successes with you. If you do not have anyone to readily help you in these areas, contact me at lipstickcoach.org. I would love the opportunity to partner with you to develop a plan to flex your leadership muscles! It is never too late to start!
Until next time. Be well my friend!