The reason most people fail to exploit their full career potential is not because they lack the ability or desire to do so, it’s because their vision of what they could accomplish is constrained by the attitudes and actions of others, especially in the corporate world. Rare is the day when mainstream corporate employees receive positive reinforcement, encouragement and support to reach their potential. Invariably it is just the opposite. The typical culture and environment in the business world is intended to keep people in their place, not to encourage them to find their place.
The iconic image of a leader is to be bold and daring, exhibiting an attitude of “damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.” But there are times when leadership calls for a less reactionary and more strategic approach.
It is my long-held belief that the best way to learn how to be an effective leader is to observe the good and bad points of others who are in positions of leadership and by being a student of history. Observing how current leaders function in real-time and scrutinizing how past leaders responded to challenges offers genuine examples of leadership, not just theory.
When it comes to career and business, success is the second most difficult objective to achieve; even more difficult is meeting the challenge to maintain it. The world is full of “one-hit wonders.” How many times have we witnessed individuals rise to lofty levels of success, only to let it all slip away? People who are driven by a burning sense of urgency to do what needs to be done to be successful, then often tumble into an attitude of ambivalence when it is achieved. They are willing to risk everything to be successful, but become unwilling to take any risk to retain it. They leverage change as a path to success, then suddenly begin to resist any change. Continue reading