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Get Ready To Go Deep

Leading from your heart will take you into uncharted territory and will make you uncomfortable. At this level, your personal growth is tied to your leadership development. It requires you to go deep. Because being a world class leader requires three main things:

  1. Extreme ownership

  2. Checking your ego at the door

  3. Understanding that you set the tone

When it comes to extreme ownership you are required to be radically honest with yourself first. That will take you to places where you have to answer the questions that are confrontational and may or may not send you into a mini identity crisis. 

A man confused while looking at his reflection in a mirror

At every private leadership cohort that we teach, people expect that the training will give them tips and tricks for organization and team bonding. I should really get better at warning them that they’ll be guided through an intense self-searching process. Starting with the question “why are you here?”.

And I am not talking about the deliverables of the job. I am talking about this very seat in this very organization. How do the values, the mission, the vision of this organization align with your own? Why should it be you sitting in this role and not someone else? How does choosing to align with this organization enable you to live out your personal purpose?

By the way, what is your personal purpose? Like what are you even doing here on this earth?

Zoom in on a man frozen in existential crisis mode

And yeah.

Things get sticky.

The room goes quiet. 

But like THAT very specific type of quiet where you can feel people are coming home to themselves and really assessing if their own personal goals are about what they truly want or what they were told they should want.

You can go anywhere and make money. By the time you get to a certain level of leadership, you have a set of polished skills that are deeply valuable. You have plenty of options. We live in the gig economy and almost half of working Americans have a side hustle. Half of those people report making enough money to buy plane tickets and go hang out in Bali eating fresh fruit and loving it. So why are you really here in this very place? And can you own it? Can you own the perfections as well as the flaws of your organization and be committed to invest in the growth? When you can go anywhere and make money easily, why here? Why this particular team?

Answering this question is super confrontational when you haven’t reflected on it before. But this question is necessary for when the going gets tough. And it will get tough because no human can escape this. Answering this question will give you the courage and strength you need to roll up your sleeves and dig in until you are through at the other end.

A woman rolling up her sleeves ready to work

The question about personal purpose is very challenging. I grew up in a super religious environment, so it’s easy for me because I’ve been wrestling with this question from my early teens. We were challenged to spend time in prayer and ask for what our purpose was and to find out what your god given gifts were. I don’t care what your stance on religion is, that is good stuff that every young person should be doing. I am not religious anymore but I can trace back to those origin stories that resulted in personal strength to say no to what doesn’t serve me anymore and make the difficult choice to leave workplaces that were not aligned with my personal purpose. I fully understood that by making that terrifying choice I was opening up the space for someone who would be a good fit, and everyone would be better off that way.

Answering those questions made me into a person that is not easily deterred. I had no idea that leadership was being cultivated. I just thought it was par for the course when you went to church. 

When I was younger, I was chasing titles. As I grew older and designed my life according to my values and personality bent, I stopped caring about the job title and I cared more about how a job could be a vehicle for my personal growth. Focusing on core value alignment helped me land here. 

Anyway, you can’t really be radically honest with yourself if you don’t know what your chosen core values are. If you don’t know what your personal purpose is then you go after what “others” say is important. But it is not really yours. And how can you practice extreme ownership with something that isn’t yours? If you don’t own your being in this role right here, right now, when it’s time to take ownership for the failures and mistakes of your team is going to be really tough. When your boss is driving you a bit bananas, it’ll be hard to stay rooted and not jump ship. When you have to disagree and risk disrupting the peace, it’ll be super tempting to not rock the boat when you know you should advocate for those who will be at a disadvantage or negatively impacted by higher level decisions. It takes a lot of courage to challenge the one who signs your paycheck. But your core values, being clear on your purpose, and really owning why you are here in the first place, will empower you to be a leader who embodies extreme ownership.

Welcome to level one.

Mario taking on level one of video game

I can promise you this: it’s going to be uncomfortable. You might have a brief identity crisis. This might force you to grieve choices you’ve made out of self-betrayal because you let others call the shots because that’s what you thought was safest. Or that’s what you perceived would keep the peace. This will ABSOLUTELY let you see where your boundaries need refreshing or new ones need to be drawn. This will make it very apparent what you are NOT willing to tolerate anymore. And this will change you in ways you can’t go back.

If you bite the bullet and let us guide you in this transformative process in your leadership journey, I promise you it will be really fun. Hard but fun. Because I refuse to waste your time. And because I made a deal with the universe that I would not learn through suffering anymore and I was only available to grow and learn through fun and positive experiences. Everything I do is a reflection of that. You will come out as the version that your teenage self would admire and look up to because it inspires hope in them. 

So if you are new (in the first five years of managing direct reports) or if you are taking charge of your personal growth and mapping out your career growth, preparing for a promotion, or are simply determined to not be the leader that repeats the worst patterns you’ve been subjected to, check out the page for The Lift for more details.

The Lift was designed to fast track the process of mastering the leadership competencies you will require for world class leadership. This is for you if you are a growth-oriented individual who doesn’t shy away from doing the inner work. It will inevitably deepen you and your whole life will be influenced by this shift. 

Man gesturing to "come here" with his hand

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