Photo by Fellowship of the Rich on flickr.
People seem to be motivated by one of two forces. Either toward or against.
Both can be equally powerful motivators, but one seems to last.
Why are you in motion?
When I interview people for a job, I often ask questions about how the individual made career decisions. Some job changes were motivated by moving AWAY from something—a bad boss, a negative work environment, low pay. Other people make a change to move TOWARD something—a new opportunity, the ability to make a bigger impact, a better use of talent.
Though it’s not scientific validation, I’ve found that the people moving TOWARD the new opportunity are more successful, happier, and continue on an upward career path. These people are energized by the future, by what’s to come, by what’s possible.
Contrast that with the people moving AWAY from a job. It seems that the very same things that they didn’t like about the one job magically seemed to follow them to the next!
Moving TOWARD is more powerful than moving AWAY.
Self-Control, Self-Mastery, Self-Discipline
Many say that the first step to leadership is self-leadership. The ability to discipline yourself is important in achieving any goal. Whether a New Year’s resolution or a business goal, I am inspired by these quotes on the subject. Mastering yourself is one of the hardest things to do. I also believe that it’s impossible to achieve perfect victory over yourself, but these quotes will inspire and encourage you on your self-mastery journey.
What’s your favorite?
If you are a student of leadership, you will likely know the name John Baldoni. His many books including Lead With Purpose, Lead Your Boss, How Great Leaders Get Great Results and Lead By Example all line the bookshelves of my office. If you somehow missed all of his books on leadership, you may have read his work in publications such as Inc.com, Fast Company, Forbes, CBSNews/MoneyWatch, Bloomberg/Businessweek, and Harvard Business Review, the Wall Street Journal or the Washington Post.
What I like most about John’s work is that it is practical. I can put his advice to use immediately. His latest book is The Leader’s Pocket Guide: 101 Indispensable Tools, Tips, and Techniques for Any Situation.
John, this pocket guide seems to distill so much of your work in bite-sized tips. What motivated you to write this pocket guide?
This book is the result of my work with executives I have coached over the past decade or so. As I say in the dedication to the book, my impact on them has been small but their impact on me has been large.
You start the book with self-leadership, then move to working with colleagues and finally an entire organization. Why is self-leadership always the starting point?
One cannot lead others without leading oneself. So where does that begin? With self-awareness and self-understanding. So often I work with executives who are capable leaders and are giving to others but they end up shorting themselves. This section focuses on things to do to develop your critical thinking, awareness and presence. All are critical to leadership.