Merriam Webster defines momentum as “the strength or force gained by motion or by a series of events.” Inherent in this definition is a secret that the best leaders know. These leaders understand it is not about having the perfect strategy or plan. Assuredly strategic focus and planning are critical, but at the end of the day, success and failure rarely go according to plan.
The best leaders, or what I define as Authentic Courageous Leaders, realize that success comes from continually putting one foot in front of the other and adding momentum – moment-by-moment and day-by-day. Given that, let’s take a look at what supports your ability to foster maximum energy towards your aims as an executive leader.
For the most part, executives have this one solidly in place. Clarity of direction comes primarily from working with your team to understand your mission, critical strategies as well as how each person will play their part in fulfilling them. Once clarity is there, the leader must ensure that everyone is not only in the same boat but that they are also are all rowing in the same direction. The strength of this alignment continually sharpens everyone’s focus, and when this happens the leader, team, and organization flourish.
Passion is the energy that makes it all work. Without this powerful emotion, your efforts may bear fruit but in a much more muted way.
The leader guarantees something special will unfold when they unleash passion in others and themselves. At its root, emotion is the energy that fuels all action. Such desire tens to emerge when one focuses on a mission they genuinely care about that is bigger than themselves or their personal goals. Leaders who are passionate then ensure those that are supporting the purpose, in turn, engage their passion as it relates to their work. Such enthusiasm is mandatory for sustainable results and innovation.
I have said many times before that you can’t do anything about the past and anything you do about the future is a big guess. Your only real advantage comes when you can be fully present to what is happening now and attend to it like it with great care. When you are focused on and passionate about your aims, you will be far more creative and resourceful moment-to-moment. If you are always distracted by the past and/or the possibilities of the future, your percentage chances for sustainable success drops significantly.
In my view, many executives over think and buy into the illusion they can figure out the perfect moves to make. If we are completely honest, we understand there is never a guarantee that any decision will bear the fruit we desire. While it is essential that we take into account essential data before we decide, consideration of such data is only informing what will ultimately be an instinctual decision.
That said, it is difficult to be in tune with our better instincts when we lack focus, passion, and presence. But when all of these fundamentals are in place, something happens in the human being that just knows when we are making the right call.
Such execution is the outcome of the four qualities above. In every case, when we are on fire to make an impact, we find ourselves compelled into action. It is almost as if something from within is directing us, and we MUST act. However, when we are unsure of our direction, do not feel passion, are distracted by worry about what is not happening or frustrated by what is unfolding – we can be plagued by a private doubt about what we are doing or confused about what we should do.
Continous learning and innovation come with the territory of all qualities I mention above. When we are serving what we care about most, we become genuinely interested in exploring how we can do better. We become open to learning from others and enjoy exploring deeper understandings.
The most significant challenge we are facing today in the world and business is that we have lost touch with our deeper connection to life and how to bring this relationship to our relationships, politics, and work. We are not alone but because we act as if we are alone. As we face the rising ambiguity and change, we tend to hunker down in our private thoughts and try to figure it out on our own. In the end, while we deal with complications in business – day-to-day business is not that complicated. It’s all about building and sustaining momentum. And this building of momentum happens when we connect to the beat of our hearts, follow the principles above and then allow life dictate our creative engagement.
Mind the GAAP – Leadership and the Growing Importance of Intangible Value
The Heart of Executive Success
Postulates of Authentic Courageous Leadership
Leadership is Not a Quest for More
Is It Time For You To Answer The Call to Lead?
Part Two: The Nuclear Power Behind Your Leadership
Part One: The Nuclear Power Behind Your Leadership
Improve Results and Cut The Drama