Fortune favors the bold.
Have you ever set a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) that scared the baheebees out of you … but you did it anyway? That’s what I’m doing this year – becoming a published author. I’ve been a featured author in The Change book series and now I want my own book. My area of focus is on coach centric, emotionally intelligent leadership. There’s so much out there now and my Inner Critics have been having a field day, screaming “What if you fail?!”
However, I teach how to Strengthen Your Inner Genius, so in utilizing some of the tools I teach, my Inner Genius said to Be Bold!
I believe being bold is a skill leaders must master.
Bold people are easy to spot. They are confident and believe in themselves and their dreams. We all have boldness in us – really! I believe that when the time comes, the bold step up instead of stepping back. Think of Alek Skarlatos, one of three Americans who courageously took down a gunman aboard a high-speed train in France. Or Malala Yousafzai, the young Pakistani school girl who stood up to the Taliban by being an advocate for girls to go to school, was shot in the head, and upon recovery became a global advocate, winng a Nobel Peace Prize. Or Rosa Parks, the African American woman who refused to give up her seat on a bus for a white man in 1955, sparking the beginning of the non-violent mass protests in support of civil rights. All of these were “average” people just living their lives. Then they came upon a situation in which they could have ceded power to the stronger or stood up for what was right. Instead, they chose to be bold.
Here’s 7 steps of how you, too, can be bold.
- North Star. Knowing your vision, goals, and priorities are vital for a bold leader. If you aren’t clear on your path then your focus is distracted. Don’t get distracted by the unimportant tasks or the shiny object syndrome. Instead, get clarity on your direction and seek those opportunities that will propel you forward to success.
- Self-Awareness. Understanding your strengths and weaknesses is crucial for a bold leader. Leaders need to consistently develop themselves, assess their skills, and find people to surround them who have strengths in the leader’s weaknesses. Don’t try to hide your problems or failures – own them. To be bolder, become more self-aware. Where are your weaknesses? Who on your team has strengths in those areas so you can focus on your areas of strength and together your team is stronger?
- Be Assertive. Leaders who are bold don’t let fear or their Inner Critics hold their tongue. No! They speak up and voice their opinions and thoughts. Bold leaders know their thoughts have great weight and power so they choose when to speak up, when to use the tool of silence, and when to encourage others to speak up.
- Be Decisive. Bold leaders are able to gather information, assess, make a decision, and act quickly. They’re not rash. Instead they research, conduct due diligence, and act. This increases not only the leader’s confidence, but the team’s confidence in the leader – not to mention increasing the number of success! Boldness is the opposite of hesitation. Stop hesitating … decide and act.
- Build Momentum. Bold leaders see there are opportunities everywhere. They look for the smaller wins while the big opportunity is coming their way. They step up and take action where others see “stinker” projects. They build a foundation of solid wins so when the bigger opportunities come, they have the experience, wisdom, and a team who is aligned to ensure success. They build their reputation and confidence on the consistency of their wins. They seek opportunities and conquer them.
- Stress Tolerance. Many people let stress and failure stop them in their tracks. However, bold leaders realize failure is simply a learning opportunity. They believe in failing forward. As Thomas Edison said, “I didn’t fail 1000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1000 steps.” Use risk to your advantage. Make failure an acceptable part of your process. Teach your team how to mitigate risks so failures are more missteps than catastrophes. Then teach them to learn from the failure and use it as a step toward greater rewards next time.
- Say No. Be willing to say no when you should. Whether the request is out of alignment with your values, or it takes you off the path for your vision, or it’s simply a bad idea. Be direct with respect, not polite and vague. Say what you mean. “Thank you, but I must say no.” You don’t have to make up an excuse or explain your reasons. We teach people how to respond and treat us. When you treat yourself and others with respect and honesty, they will reciprocate. If you do say yes, though, make sure you deliver what you promise. When you follow through, you earn people’s trust. And trust is important when you’re leading a team.
Are you ready to be bolder? What’s one thing you’re going to do this week to be bold? Step up!
To our success!
For information on leadership, Emotional Intelligence & Negotiations, Strengthening your Inner Genius, Hiring the Golden Unicorn, or any of our programs, call us at 682.200.1412 or go to http://www.apexmastery.com/