I have met a lot of people who have so much potential – the right tools, the right education, the right network, and simply the right opportunities. Where we often get stuck is determining when the right moment is for all these “right” circumstances to translate into action.
I also have my own dream, my own five-year plan I am actively pursuing. In recent conversations with both my father and my best friend, two stellar businessmen I admire for unapologetically radiating a strong work ethic and ruthlessly leading with the core of their beings, I am slowly but surely realizing that I do have the right skills and the right resources to turn this concept into reality. I am, however, still grappling with timing and wrestling with my intentions. I couldn’t help but wonder, when is the right moment? Though I am guarded with accepting this for myself, I suppose there is no denying, that moment is now, right where I am, right where you are. If you can’t start from where you want to be, how do you start from where you are?
Here are some ways I am working on myself to clear the path:
Develop yourself. To lead others, you must first learn to lead yourself. As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world as in being able to remake ourselves. Who you are and what you learn about yourself is more powerful than where you are.
Develop alliances. Nothing great was ever done alone. To be successful, you need to be able to get along with others, which means building strong relationships and deep alliances. We are all as strong as we are united, and as weak as we are divided. The best leaders know the importance of alliances and do everything they can to cultivate them.
Define your worth. Everyone has a unique talent and their own way of expressing themselves; learn what yours is and it will be your worth. The best competitive advantage you have is you. Your talent determines what you can do; your motivation determines how much you do; your attitude determines how well you do it. Lead by your worth and make your mark.
Engage in constant dialogue. When dialogue is constant, communication is easy, instant, and effective. To me, the most important aspect of dialogue is usually hearing what is not being said. The art of reading between the lines is a lifelong quest of great leaders because it leads to understanding, connection, and mutual appreciation.
Seek out experience. Experience as much as you can. People never truly learn anything by being told; finding out for yourself is much more powerful. Once you’ve experienced failures and successes, you can begin turning those experiences into wisdom.
Invest in other people. People matter—especially when it comes to leadership. Find what is good about others and do everything you can to illuminate their work, support their development and nurture their success. Invest in other people’s successes and groom them to be leaders too. When they win, you win. You don’t have to wait until you get to the top, until the right role is available, until you’re in the perfect place at the perfect time. You can reach everything you need, and everything you need to accomplish, right where you are. And then when opportunity knocks (and trust me, it will), you will be ready.
Lead From Within. Everyone has the potential to lead successfully, regardless of the positions they hold and the title they have. Be ready today by leading from right where you are and with all that you have.