What gets you from A to B isn’t what gets you from B to C. As a creative leader, what brought you early career success is not what you need to grow and sustain a career over the long haul.
It was in this context that I was talking to a few clients last month about ‘elevating their game.’ At first, that phrase sounds like a cliche, but after we dug into the session, they got it. I mean really got it. And the feedback from my clients at the end of the call was, “this is career changing.” I’m good at what I do, helping bring clarity to the stuck, uncertain, and indifferent, through expertise and intuition I’ve been honing for many, many years. But the magic spark and ‘aha’ comes not from me. It comes from my clients understanding that what is going to get them from B to C is all about taking care of themselves within the bigger ecosystem of taking care of others.
The ability to take care of themselves within this larger picture means they will be able to contribute in a big way. When you are satisfied with your work and are clear about where you want to be stretched and help others grow, beautiful things happen…like creativity, perseverance, and light-filled clarity that can blind you.
Once you see those opportunities, it’s hard to let it go. But you must prioritize, because as we can all relate, creative executives don’t have much free time. Within this larger list of things to do, how do you gain focus? How do you harness what gifts you have to give and the potential impact you want to make?
You know what you (and your people) care about
Where is your passion and expertise? Are those two areas married in your world? If not, how can have you have them converge or overlap in a way that makes your aligned efforts have that much more momentum?
Once you answer this question for yourself, you’ll be able to ask these same questions of your people and build trust with consistency and openness over time.
You create the output of what that passion and expertise is…and that output is usually not in the reaction of your day-to-day job. We all have our execution, and then we have our dreams. You have to work on both or one will take over.
You push, strategically
Whenever you are trying to do something new, you have to push yourself and you have to help others see the value. Be smart. Speak to your audience and help them understand the value of the change you seek. This communication is key to creating clarity and focus towards the present goals and opportunities for the future.
Creation isn’t easy. Great meaning comes from a breadth of emotions, experience, and fortitude. Remember if it’s worth it, it means you gotta go for it – fully.
You can do this your way. That’s the art of leadership. Two people can approach how they lead with different styles and yield similar results. The question is…do you need to revolutionize your habits, your philosophies, and ways of being in your work and life to make it happen?