Be a Leader of One, So You Can be a Leader of Many

Effective leadership starts with leading one person…you. How can you lead people and teams successfully if you can’t lead yourself? And how do you focus on yourself in order to become a great leader? It’s actually easy to do but very few people do it. All you need is 60 minutes, pen and paper and three simple steps to guide you: Imagine your goals, Inscribe your goals and finally, Inspect your goals.

First, you need to imagine your goals; simply take time to visualize what it is you want to achieve in the next 12 months. I’m confident you spend many hours (80-100?) business planning for your companies and businesses. However, how many hours do you spend planning for YOUR next 12 months? How many hours do you think about where you’re going in life, where you want to be in 12 months, how you can make a difference in the world? I’m not just talking about business here; this should be focused on YOU and your personal goals.

Once you’ve imagined your future and set direction for your life, then inscribe your goals! Write them down. Write them on a piece of paper or a napkin. Simple, right? Research suggests that only 3% of us actually write down our goals.

Finally, inspect your goals! Look at them daily. When you see your written goals you naturally strive to achieve those goals. Your daily routine begins to incorporate actions that move you toward achieving those written and visible goals. Take heed in what The Roadrunner said in the book, Can’t Catch Me Coyote; “Keeping a written goal visible makes it come alive – it breathes life into your goal.”

Sound too simple? Many leaders, presidents, athletes and authors have done just this. They’ve spent time imagining what they want to achieve, inscribing it to form a contract with themselves, and then inspecting their written goals daily which allows them to focus on what they’ve decided was important to them, personally.

    Three tips for success:

  • Physically write your goals down somewhere, research suggests that the act of actually writing your goals on paper, versus typing them on your computer, significantly improves your success of achieving the goal.
  • Focus on one or two goals, no more.
  • Keep your inscribed goals somewhere that you’ll see them every day. The bathroom mirror is a great place: if you brush your teeth at least twice a day, then you’ll see your goals at least twice a day.

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"Victorious warriors win first then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war, then seek to win." Sun Tzu

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