037 – Uncover Your Leadership Potential in 5 Days: Lesson One
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This is Lesson One of the 5-Day Leadership Challenge, Uncover Your Leadership Potential in 5-Days!
To participate in this 5-Day Challenge, please visit YourBestManager.com/Challenge and register.
Watch: Facebook Live for the Kick-off (You can skip to 1:45 if you’d like to avoid watching me stare at the computer as I wait for a few people to join)
This is the first lesson in your 5-Day Leadership Challenge and we are going to start things off right!
By getting real.
So let me ask you a pointed question right off the bat.
How excited were you to wake up this morning?
It’s Monday. The start of a work week. How excited were you to get out of bed and face the day?
I can remember multiple times where I hit snooze on my alarm clock over and over again… not because I was tired, but because I didn’t want to go to work.
That’s not a good feeling (and I hope you aren’t there).
But guess what? Being in that position isn’t the worst case scenario. The worst case scenario is to wake up each morning apathetic. To wake up and just shrug your shoulders as you carry on with your routine.
You aren’t dreading work… it’s fine… but you also aren’t fired up to start your day. That’s worse.
I’ll explain what I mean in a minute, but first I’m going to share why I think this is really common.
The latest research from Gallup shows that over 70% of U.S. workers are disengaged. That doesn’t mean that 70% of people hate their jobs, but that 70% aren’t engaged.
And even of the 30% who are engaged, it’s really only 4% who are “Highly Engaged”.
I had a really good conversation with Andrew Sherman about this on Episode 32 of the Your Best Manager podcast. He equated it to going to a party with 20 friends and realizing that there would only be 1 person in the room (maybe) who is fired up about the work they do each day!
(By the way, Andrew Sherman has a new book out called the Crisis of Disengagement: How Apathy, Complacency and Selfishness are Destroying Today’s Workplace. You can listen to our conversation and check out the book here)
So let me ask you another honest question. Which category do you fall into?
Apathetic and Disengaged?
Apathetic and Engaged?
Or like I was, Actively Disengaged… and not wanting to go to work?
I mentioned earlier that waking up apathetic is worse than waking up actively disengaged. That’s because apathy stifles growth and development. Whether you are on the engaged side or the disengaged side of the equation.
So who are the people taking action?
The highly engaged and the actively disengaged.
It’s extremely obvious with the Highly Engaged, (the 4%) because they are the ones who volunteer for stretch assignments, they are the ones who put their hand up to ask questions at conferences, they are the ones who are moving quickly around the office, on the production floor, smiling and interacting with customers.
The 4% are the ones who earn promotions, grow their careers, start businesses, and are always striving to better themselves.
Similarly, those who are actively disengaged also take action.
Sometimes it’s positive and constructive action and sometimes it’s extremely negative. But they take action.
For me, I got to a point in my job where I was extremely stressed out and ultimately I took the action of leaving the organization to start YourBestManager.com… but that wasn’t the first action I took.
I spent 8 years with one organization and over those 8 years, I can remember at least 3 times where I was unhappy, stressed, filled with anxiety, and unmotivated. The first 2 times resulted in earning a promotion. (Sounds crazy, right?)
Here’s a reality.
Everyone’s job is tough.
We all work under different circumstances, different pressures, on different teams and in different companies, but we ALL face challenges in our careers and in our businesses.
“Words can never adequately convey the incredible impact of our attitudes toward life. The longer I live the more convinced I become that life is 10 percent what happens to us and 90 percent how we respond to it.”
– Charles R. Swindoll
That’s why apathy is so dangerous. Because apathetic people don’t respond or don’t respond in a way that moves them forward.
Which leads me to the main thing and your challenge for today.
Every time that I’ve faced adversity, I’ve asked myself this question, “Is it worth it?”
When I had a good answer… when I knew what I was working toward…
That’s when I pushed through and overcame the adversity and progressed my career.
And when I didn’t have a good answer?
I took action and found a good answer.
Today’s topic is “Your Opportunities”. Through this 5-Day Leadership Challenge, you are working to uncover your leadership potential, and it starts with answering that same question.
Is it worth it?
What are you working toward? What do you get when you work hard each day? What do you get when you overcome adversity? What reward is there for putting up with the draining or stressful circumstances that are bound to hit you at one point or another?
Simply saying that you want to be a CEO one day, or that you want to earn $100,000, or that you want to build and lead an effective team isn’t enough.
In fact, even setting your sights on a particular position title isn’t enough.
So I’d like to challenge you to get specific on what you are working towards. That means not only identifying a future role, status, or job title, but it means identifying what it takes and what’s required to get there.
I’m going to challenge you to find 3 “Job Descriptions” that are of interest to you.
Here are some examples to get you started:
- Do you want to become a manager? Talk to your HR department and find a job description.
- Do you want to be a CEO? Identify the next position on your org chart and find that job description (and find a CEO job description while you’re at it)
- Do you want to earn $100,000? Find out which roles in your company pay that kind of salary.
- Do you want to simply be a more effective leader? Create your own job description listing the qualities, qualifications, and characteristics that make leaders great.
- Do you think you need a career change? Spend some time on LinkedIn or CareerBuilder and find some job descriptions that are interesting to you.
Find or create 3 job descriptions, print them out and attach them to the back of your workbook for future reference.
Don’t know where to start?
I’ll be hopping on Facebook Live today at 12:45 MST to dive into this further. I’ll give some tips on how you can quickly and easily identify these opportunities if you are stuck, overwhelmed or confused and I’ll be able to answer any questions that you have.
During the live training, I will also be providing the information to fill-in-the-blanks in your workbook