The word ultra means “going beyond what is usual or ordinary.” In today’s business climate we need Ultra Leadership. Ultra Leadership takes us to the edge of what we think is possible and inspires us to push farther. It must do this over and over again. Ultra Leadership is the will to push the limits (individual, team, and organizational) combined with the skills to get people to willingly, enthusiastically, and repeatedly say “yes,” and engage and contribute.
Three skills and one important drive are foundational to Ultra Leadership. Together they add up to going beyond what is usual and ordinary and accelerating your impact as a leader.
To go beyond what is usual or ordinary and lead change and get people to willingly, enthusiastically, and repeatedly say “yes,” engage and contribute, leaders must be able to think carefully, feel fully, and communicate effectively. These three skills are what enable the appropriate and masterful application of all other leadership skills and competencies.
Thinking Carefully – Careful thinking can be summed up as the ability to find meaning in confusion, to think strategically, and to generate new and creative opportunities to address challenges. Careful thinking involves being able to encounter confusion, hold multiple pieces of information in memory at any one time, analyze each piece, and understand the relationship between and among the data points in order to lessen the confusion.
Feeling Fully – To feel fully means to be emotionally self-aware and capable of managing our emotions and energy in order to positively engage and interact with others. In other words, feeling fully is all about emotional intelligence and resilience.
Communicating Effectively – Communicating effectively involves designing, convening, hosting and/or engaging in conversations vital to connecting with others, driving the business, and achieving success. To do this well, leaders must have a capacity for conversing, listening, and clearly presenting ideas to team members, stakeholders and customers.
A Drive to Lead – Ultra runners are driven to test themselves by taking on extreme distances – from 50 kilometers to 100 miles. Ultra leaders are driven to go, to grow, and to achieve. For the ultra leader, the status quo is not an option. There is a willingness to engage in ongoing personal and leadership development. Why? Because moving forward and continual improvement and development enable fulfillment of the drive to achieve.
Ultra Leadership is challenging and rewarding. It never gets easier. You get better. Getting better is a daily practice and life-long journey. Every day is the starting point of the next leg of your journey. Where you go from here is up to you.
We’ve developed the Ultra Leadership Checklist & 360 to help leaders assess their starting point. Using the Ultra Leadership Checklist is free. It takes 5 minutes. Are you ready to go beyond what is usual and ordinary? Click here.