Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.

– Jack Welch, Chairman of General Electric

1. Leadership V download (2)ision

Now is the time to clarify and refine your leadership vision. This requires both articulating your values and reexamining your goals for the future. Start by identifying the four or five most important episodes in your life moments that definedwho you are today. For each episode, articulate how it shaped your values.

Then draft a statement of your personal leadership vision. This is a compelling image of an achievable future. Describe the kind of leader you want to become and the major contributions you want to make to the world between now and 2025. What will you be doing in 2025, and what impact do you hope to be making?

2. Pretend You Have What You Want

Your mind is often your greatest tool, but as anyone who has been taken over by fear, frustration, or worry knows, it can also be your greatest enemy. Whether you’re concerned that you don’t have the respect of your peers or that a customer calling you back because she’s gone to a competitor, over-thinking the issue only serves to compound the worry. Instead, pretend you have what you want. Act as if your peers respect you or as if the customer is loyal. These may be fantasies, but what you’re worrying about may be as well. It’s better to stop the worry and act confidently; chances are better that you’ll get what you want.

3. Take Ownership

Autonomy, influence, and a sense of meaning are all associated with lower stress. If you need to find more joy, take on a new project that will improve your job, team, or workplace. While you may not have the same degree of freedom that an entrepreneur does, you can find ways to set the agenda and claim ownership of tasks and projects. This ownership will likely improve your job satisfaction while adding an important accomplishment to your résumé.

4. Take Responsibility for Your Growth

Responsibility for your professional development lies squarely on your shoulders. No matter your situations, use these tips to keep sharp.

    • Meet with two former co-workers each month. Talk about your industry and where it is headed. This will keep you tapped into thdownload (1)e community.
      • Have one major learning experience each quarter. If your work isn’t giving you the necessary challenges, seek out other opportunities. Volunteer for a non-profit, attend a conference, or take a class.
      • Give yourself a performance review. Reflect on your growth and performance, whether through a formal process or not. Be honest with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses and what you should focus on in the coming year.

      5. Increase Your Desire to Learn

      Don’t let your ego get in the way of your desire to learn. Successful leaders keep their minds open to new things because they know that no matter how high their level of mastery, there is always more to discover. If you’ve become an expert in one field, seek out other fields where you can transfer and apply your expertise. When facing challenges, even ones you’ve faced many times before, adopt a learner’s approach-ask questions or find new ways to solve the problem.

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