If you missed the first part read here..
Last week we shared a story of authenticity to illustrate the single most important principle for being a great leader and strengthening the influence you have with others.
Now to wrap up our learning for part 2 of this series on how to bolster your ability to become a WOW leader, I promised to outline the three most important questions to contemplate, consider and substantiate to imbue power into your WOW Power.
Let’s start with a good reminder from the leadership example we started with, Mahatma Gandhi. This is one of my favorite quotes from Gandhi: “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
Here are the three key questions you’ll need to have great answers for if you ever want to be a WOW leader:
Question One: Who am I?
The ultimate question, right? Certainly if you ever want to lead others to become more of who THEY are and what they are capable of, you must first figure out who you are, what you believe in and what you want.
Sit down and answer that all important question: Who am I, really? Not who I think I need to be, or what others want me to be or to be like those around me, but who am I really? Gandhi once said, “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” Getting clear about what you really think is the first of three steps in the simple but profound quote.
Here are some subsequent questions to answer that might help you answer the main, Who Am I? question:
- What do I believe in? Why?
- What do I stand for? Why?
- What brings me suffering? Why?
- What makes me jump for joy? Why?
- What makes me mad? Why?
- What are my core values?
- And lastly, but maybe most importantly, how do I want to be remembered. Why?
Question Two: What are we?
To champion a great cause, mission or business enterprise it will of course take more than you individually. Remember this key line: The bigger your dream, the more important your team. If you have small, un-extraordinary dreams, then you only need a small un-extraordinary team. If you have big and extraordinary goals, well then, you are going to need to recruit and lead a big and extraordinary team of people to accomplish it.
Creating such a team requires a leader who clearly articulates a vision, connects each person’s individual goals and aspirations to the goals of the team, helps everyone understand their role, demonstrates what it will take to do the job well, ensures that all team members know how they will be held accountable, and determines how the team will be recognized and rewarded when the mission is accomplished. Team members who know their work matters and that their leader appreciates their contributions will work harder and longer than someone who thinks their contributions are not appreciated or valued.
So subsequent questions are:
- What do we do here?
- Why do we exist?
- What’s our purpose?
- Where do we fit into the world of existing options to resolve the same problem we seek to solve?
- And what are the core values of our organization?
Question Three: How is the future different because
What is the compelling image of the future because of the passionate, persistent love, work and effort of your team? Before you can answer that question, first know this: “Leadership is making something happen that wasn’t going to happen.”
What’s that important something? You want to paint with words on paper to illustrate a picture of a BETTER WORLD that your product or service makes possible. A positive force that draws your organization toward the future. The major OUTCOME of your crusade.