The ability of extraordinary leaders to embody their leadership role outside what is required of them fascinates me. To pass the stage of being a good leader into becoming the best, we may have to go beyond the skills and experience essential for success.
If you are a good, skilled, experienced leader and you can connect to your basic talent, you will take your role to a new level of excellence. For instance, the set of skills required for a quarterback are different from a tight end. If these skills coincide with your natural abilities, you will personify your role and soar beyond the known limits and boundaries. Connecting to your inner talent will move the skillful player from good to great if he trains and continues developing his aptitudes. I have watched so many good leaders in my life and was always intrigued by their tipping point into greatness. I found some common denominators among these exceptional front-runners.
Ask yourself these six questions to up your game from a great to an extraordinary leader:
1. Are you excited about what you do?
On top of their capabilities, experience, and natural gifts, great leaders are excited about their role and exude excitement around them. If you watch extraordinary leaders, they seem as if they are absorbed by a captivating space. They may be in the zone. Performance stops being the only motivator — they are no longer only driven by recognition — something else takes over to ignite them.
2. Are you conscious of your state of being?
In addition to tapping into your natural talents, becoming an extraordinary leader requires you to embrace a state of being-ness. Indeed, great leaders access a state of being, which makes their leadership become a natural expression of themselves. Leadership becomes an extension of the leader within. That deeper place will then inform your actions instead of the reverse.
3. Are you creating leaders around you?
Above all, great leaders empower others to find their natural talent and motivate them to develop it. Very many times the enthusiasm and excitement of these special leaders is passed on to their team by osmosis — although communication is key. They know that their success is dependent on their team’s success. They know how to build teams and build on teams. Delegating and empowering is the name of the game. If you have a problem with either then you may be stuck in a managerial role and not a leadership one.
4. Do you believe in a vision and a sense of purpose?
Great leaders believe in a vision and a possibility that has not yet occurred — they envision and believe in their abilities to manifest the end goal. They are also confident in their power to go beyond the achievable state to a dreamed state. Connecting to your deeper sense of purpose allows you to go beyond performance. Undeniably great leaders are motivated by a purpose bigger than success and failure. They are powered by an urge to express their deeper and truer self.
5. How well do you communicate the vision to your team?
While a successful leader focuses on actions that are driven by a need to perform and succeed, in a state of being extraordinary, a leader’s actions are driven by a sense of vision and a meaningful purpose emanating from the leader within beyond the fear of success and failure. Their success is though dependent on how well they can enroll their team in their vision and how well they can communicate it to them. If you are an extraordinary leader, you have certainly mastered the art of communicating your vision and engaging others in your goals with flow and ease.
6. Are you rewarding and celebrating success every step of the way?
We have heard so many times to stop and smell the roses. Yes, great leaders know how to recognize the success of each step, reward and celebrate each rose on the way. This is actually the best motivation. Be generous in your celebration, recognize your failure and shake it off by learning from it. While visiting the occasional failures to learn from them don’t make them your dwellings: Correct and keep moving!
So what kind of leader are you? Good, great or extraordinary? Do you recognize any room for improvement in order to become an extraordinary leader? If you answered yes to most of the above questions, you are well on your way.