We all have a default setting for how we think, feel, and communicate. Our default settings start out as coping mechanisms for challenges that come our way in life. Our default settings work – until they don’t. In most cases, coping behaviors that once did the trick become counter-productive and hinder our efforts to manage our own lives and interact with others successfully. Our default settings make up our personal “operating system.”
The question is, “Which version are you running?” If you and your leadership are still running on the equivalent of Windows XP or Mac OS X Yosemite, that might explain why things might not be going the way you want them to.
Time to Upgrade?
The answer to the question, “Is it time for me to upgrade?” is “Always.”Leadership development is a life-long journey of daily practice to get better and better at the work of engaging others to lead real change. True development is more than learning a new technique or tool; it is a process of continuous reflection, dialogue with others, and practice to upgrade our personal OS in order to know how and when to use all the techniques and tools of leadership at our disposal. Those techniques and tools are like most apps; they won’t run on antiquated operating systems.
All development is mental development. If you want to upgrade your personal OS and your leadership, that’s where you start. Mental development for the purpose of leadership development is a process of finding the edge of your competence and confidence, transcending your limitations, expanding your thinking, and increasing your capacity to lead.
Your leadership development depends upon your willingness to consider your default setting for how you engage others to lead and see how and where it’s time to upgrade your operating system.
You can take our Ultra Leadership Checklist for free. (Click here) It will help you reflect on your drive to lead, your thinking, your EI, and your communication skills.
Self-reflection alone isn’t enough. Why? Well, aside from the fact that the human mind is capable of infinite self-deception, it’s just good to get another person’s perspective.
Invite a trusted colleague or friend to give you some feedback. Here are three questions to spark the conversation.
- What might I need to let go of to become a more effective leader?
- What might I need to learn to become a more effective leader?
- What is the quickest and simplest adjustment I can make right now to upgrade my personal OS and leadership?
Remember to say, “thank you.” Feedback is a gift.
Commit to one concrete behavior or practice that is observable to others that represents an upgrade. Tell people. Get feedback regularly to see if they notice the upgrade.
Always bring the best and most up-to-date version of you to everything you do.Your impact as a leader is determined by your conscious intention to embark on the life-long journey of daily practice to get better and better at the work of leadership.
See you on the trail.