Episode 12: Your Leadership Is Not an Accident

Have you wondered why your rising leaders just don’t deliver the way you do?

What if they aren’t the problem? What if you’re too accidental?

Welcome to The New Generation Leader, Episode 12 – Your Leadership Is Not An Accident.

Download the Leadership Toolkit eBook

Growing to Intentionality

1. Ranking Your Circles

Rank your circles of influence from the areas in which you believe you are most intentional to the ones in which you are least intentional (i.e. accidental).

2. Take Some Time to Reflect on What It’s Like to Be on the Other Side of You

Hold up a mirror to yourself and think about the following:

  • What is it like to be led by you?
  • What is it like to be loved by you? Do you love some people in your life differently than others? If true, how so?
  • What tendencies do you have that build others up or bring them down? Are those tendencies increasing or decreasing your influence with them?

3. Determine Your Action

Determine one thing you can do in each circle of influence to become more intentional with the people/work in your life over the next week. These can be one-time situations, such as apologizing to someone you have hurt, or they can constitute entirely new habits you can begin to implement for greater health, intentionality, and freedom in every area of your life.

Daily Examen

This is a preview of the Examen exercise in Session 4 of the Intensive:

Set aside 10-15 minutes at the day to do the following:

  1. Shut everything else down in your world so there are no distractions.
  2. Review your day and highlight the 2-4 really good, specific things that happened today.
  3. Go back through your calendar and reflect on what you did today.
  4. If you find anything that is a tendency or pattern, use a Tendency Log to track it.

The Intensive

Session 1: Story

Your Story is an account of your life and how it has shaped who you are today in terms of how you live, lead, and make decisions. This is the first step to Knowing Yourself to Lead Yourself more effectively.

Session 2: Voice

Everyone has a Voice – a unique style of thinking, leading, and communicating. But most don’t fully understand or utilize it effectively. We use a method called the 5 Voices to help you understand your foundational Voice and how to adapt to use different Voices to connect more effectively with different people.

Session 3: Choice

We will identify your core motivations and drivers (positive and negative) that most impact your decision-making.
Session 4: Rhythm

We will help you build a healthy, effective, and sustainable rhythm for your life and work so you can bring your best in every area of your life.
Session 5: Relationships

We will identify the relationships that are most important to your life and work and help you take them to the next level.

Session 6: Game Plan

Your action plan to bring this all together and put into practice your most important takeaways.

Support-Challenge Matrix

Full Episode 12 Transcript

Have you ever wondered why your rising leaders just don’t deliver the way you do? What if they aren’t the problem? What if you’re too accidental?Welcome to The New Generation Leader, Episode 12 “Your Leadership is Not an Accident.”

Welcome to The New Generation Leader. We’re giving you the tools you need to lead in the digital world. Ready to reach your true potential? Let’s get started. Welcome to The New Generation Leader Podcast.

This is a powerful question I have been pondering, thinking about reflecting on these past few weeks. What are those unique traits – that are so strong in our own minds and our own habits in our own rhythms – that we think “Doesn’t everybody think this way?” when the reality is only a small portion of the rest of the population sees things even remotely similar to the way we see the world.

Everything that we talk about here on The New Generation Leader Podcast is about giving you the tools you need to become a leader worth following. For you to unlock your potential. We talk about this in a few words and phrases: liberating leadership, fighting for the highest possible good of those you lead. We don’t want you to be a leader who has to be followed. We want you to be a leader worth following. And becoming a leader like this, really boils down to knowing when to bring an appropriate amount of support, encouragement, training resources to other people, but also when to call your people up to a higher level of work or conduct. Accountability, standards, deadlines – those sorts of things. The best leaders, the best leaders, those who create a culture of empowerment and healthy growth, these are the leaders who learn how to calibrate an appropriate degree of these two ingredients. Both support and challenge.

So in our Show Notes, you’re gonna see an image that we call the Support Challenge Matrix. We want to get you to the top right corner. We want to get you to become a liberating leader, fighting for the highest possible good, helping your team unlock their potential, reach the stars reach what they were born and made to do and become that leader worth following. But, in order to become a leader worth following, you have to go through some steps, you have to do some work yourself.

You have to be intentional. You have to be intentional about your own growth, your own path, your own development, and how you go about working on this lifelong pursuit of self awareness. This is, as we say, the one school that you will never graduate from. You cannot get a degree or a certificate in self awareness. Part of this comes in because our teams, the people around us, are constantly changing themselves. They are learning, they are growing, they are developing, they are adapting and we are responding to those changes every day. But we are also adding new people or taking team members away. And the relational dynamics shift and adjust on those lines at a moment’s notice. So we must constantly adapt and adjust throughout our lives.

But, despite all of the books, all of the resources, all of the classes and workshops that are out there about self awareness, how many people truly understand the importance of being accidental versus being intentional in developing a sense of self awareness and putting that learning into action so you can do something different with it?

I’ll give you a peek inside my own mind, inside my own world. This is one of my favorite new tools and it comes from our intensive process. We’re going to talk about the intensive later in the show, but in one of our sessions about our rhythm, we have this exercise called Examen and it’s about creating a rhythm, a milestone in your day to reflect back on what occurred. And there’s some great questions and it encourages us to spend, say 10-15 minutes at the end of each day and reflect on how your day went.

What specific milestones and markers offered support, offered challenge that you needed to reflect on. Maybe you needed to give thanks. Maybe you needed to offer an apology as we’ve talked about with the five gears. That’s an important, powerful component we can bring into our world and our relationships. Going back through your calendar and searching yourself, reflecting as I’ve talked about on the radio show and now on the Podcast. My favorite end of your activity is to go back through the calendar and see: What did I accomplish this year? But what if we did that each day? What if we look back on our day and reflected on what we had accomplished?

But here’s my favorite activity that’s part of this Examen exercise. The exercise is to create a no yourself to lead yourself tendency log. What are the things that you tend to do? What are the habits, the choices that you make that always tend to go in a certain direction and if you don’t like it, mark it down in the tendency log, work on it. If you do like it, mark it down, make a note of it and learn more about why you do things this way. The choices you can make and how you can adapt and adjust to build towards a brighter tomorrow. Your self awareness game, if you are truly being intentional, your self awareness, growth and journey is never going to end. So how can you maximize this? And this is what we do with this Examen exercise.

So, becoming a leader worth following is a journey that begins with being intentional. You have to be willing to look in the mirror even to let others hold up a mirror for you, which is part of our coaching process so that you can see: what is it like to be on the other side of me? People don’t want to follow accidental leaders because accidental leaders are leaders who have to be followed. Again, we want to develop, we want to build, we want to unlock your true potential so that you can be a leader worth following.

What’s it like to be led by you? What’s it like to be loved by you? What tendencies do you have that build others up or bring them down? And are these tendencies increasing or decreasing your influence right along with them? So, what is the path to liberating leadership? It’s a challenge to be this honest with yourself and the people around you. It requires being secure, secure enough in who you are.

But, also the humility to be able to commit to a process of uncovering your weaknesses, reinforcing your strengths and become the best person and leader you can be in all areas of your life. But, unfortunately, our tendencies don’t really change. They don’t go away. Our tendencies are our tendencies for a reason. If you think about yourself, you may have a persona you feel like you carry with you, you may have friends or family members and you think: “Ah, yes they are the ones at the party who are go get them, out there. They meet people all the time.” Or, “this one’s the flighty one or this one is the forgetful one or this one is the ambitious and driven one.”

All of us have these tendencies: some of them are good, some of them are challenging. But we all, with intentionality, humility and conscious repeated effort, we have an opportunity to make different choices and to change our default patterns to change how we normally respond to a situation. The best leaders out there are intentional about this process. They are devoted to this exercise of Examen or something similar. At the beginning of each day, at the end of each day where they can hold up themselves, look in the mirror and consider, where have I been?, where am I going?, and how can I be more intentional in getting there?

But here’s the reality: The reality is all of us have an opportunity to ask these questions in five different areas of our lives. And we’ve merged these two together. And so you’ll see in the Show Notes, The Five Circles of Influence actually show us each of the five circles and this decision: are we being intentional or are we being accidental? You have an opportunity with yourself, your family, your team, your organization, or your community. You have a choice in a decision to make whether your actions and intentionality, leave a positive or a challenging effect on all of those around you.

So how can we be intentional with ourselves? I play a pretty powerful mind game with myself. Sometimes, dominating myself (going back to the Support Challenge Matrix) and beating myself up. Questioning, doubting, raising questions about myself to myself. We have that ability in our mindset in our framework, in how we approach every day with ourselves. That’s not even getting into the relationships around us.

But then we get into family. And a lot of times, what happens in our family circle, influences how we show up in every other circle. It influences how we see ourselves and it can be a vicious cycle: if we are not treating our family well, we in turn can carry that into other work situations, team situations, and even into how we view ourselves.

Every one of these layers of our circle requires us to ask: Am I being intentional? Am I fighting for the highest possible good of those I lead, including myself, my family, my team, my organization, and out in the community? You can’t truly be a leader worth following in one area and not be in another. You want to set an example. You want to be a leader worth following in every level of influence. Plenty of executives and organizational leaders excel in their roles at work. They may even be revered and loved by the wider community. But sometimes when you dig deep, you find a great deal of trouble at home or an absentee parent who doesn’t know their kids simply because they chose to be intentional at work but accidental in their approach to family.

No matter how you look at it, intentional leadership isn’t for the faint of heart. You have to be intentional. This can’t be default mode. Accidental leadership is the same as default mode. We’ve got to make some customizations: we’ve got to work hard, we’ve got to put in the effort.

Default mode is easy. It’s reactionary. It doesn’t require us facing our weaknesses, digging up our our past or our tendencies or even growing and learning. It certainly doesn’t require inviting other people in to challenge us in that process. But the truth is, most leadership fails because the leader is inconsistent, accidental and succumbs too easily to the whims of self preservation and knee jerk reactions, the angry outbursts, the hiding or glossing over something that’s less than stellar. This is accidental leadership.

We want to be consistent, we want to be deliberate. We want to be intentional. Intentional, consistent leadership brings health both to you as a leader and as a person. And when you become healthy, your relational influence grows dramatically. Then guess what happens? You start winning. Your team starts winning, your family, starts winning your community starts winning. You actually start feeling at peace with yourself. And with that security, comes confidence and humility, which makes people begin to respect you even more. And that is what it means to become a leader worth following.

So, we’ve included some reflection questions in the Show Notes for you at newgenerationleader.com/12. But I want to introduce you to our intensive process. This incredible six-step journey can take you into a deliberate pathway of exploring and understanding yourself and your leadership. Really pressing in to the self awareness that you need to understand, that you need to grow through. And as I mentioned, this Examen exercise that I highlighted is part of this intensive.

So here’s the six parts. The six parts start with your story. What is it about who you are, where you grew up, all of the aughts and shoulds of nurture that you have picked up along the way, all of those factors influence who you are, how you lead, how you show up each and every day. And so we want to understand your story because your history and your past play a powerful influence every day and how you make decisions and how you lead.

And second, with that, is the power of your voice. Everyone has a voice a unique style of thinking, leading and communicating. But most of us don’t fully understand or utilize our voice effectively. And so we use this method called The Five Voices to help you understand your foundational voice, your natural born strengths. And how to adapt to use different voices to connect more effectively to build influence with the people around you.

So we kick off with those two powerful components and we round out the beginning with choice. We’ll identify your core motivators, your drivers, both positive and negative, that most impact your decision making. And so after those three sessions, we have a powerful picture of how your life has shaped your current experience, how your voice, your mindset, your thinking, leading and communicating influence you every day, and how the choices that you make are driving you each and every day to make certain decisions, to respond to situations in a certain way.

And then we look at three incredible areas: rhythm, relationships, and your game plan. And your rhythm, we want to now take what we’ve learned in the first three sessions and help you build a healthy, effective, sustainable rhythm for your life and work so that you can bring your best in every area of life.

Then, in relationships, we want to identify the relationships that are most important to your life and work and help you take them to the next level. In each of these circles of influence that we’ve talked about today, there are key people in your life and we want to help you take those relationships to the next level. We want you to improve, to grow, to fight for the highest possible good of those people around you. You have that opportunity through these relationships.

And then in our game plan, we want to put this all together. We want to bring it all into one place and put it into practice. Get your most important takeaways from this experience and make a game plan for your future growth so that you can put into practice and you can start working towards your personal goals as a leader worth following. Now this 12 hour experience. At times, we will do in 12 straight hours. Not literally 12 straight hours, but in a 24 hour period We’re going to spend 12 hours together and in 24 hours we’re gonna knock this out and change how you see yourself and the world around you.

I have other clients who we are working together on a game plan through coaching and each time we get together, we’re going to tackle another one of these sessions. Sometimes we start off with one or two maybe story and voice just to get a quick start right out of the gate and then we go once a month or each time we connect, we go through another module.

But the point is that we don’t want to waste the time that we have. We don’t want to waste the incredible capital that we have in the relationships around us. We want to be able to invest fully and completely in every circle of influence. We want to be intentional with ourselves, our family, our team, our organization, and our community. And one of the best ways that we have figured out to do this, is to better understand ourselves, which happens in an intensive. It sets you up to be able to bring your best each and every day so that you can help unlock the leader worth following in every person you lead.

In the Show Notes, we’ve got a link to more information about the intensive. Check that out: newgenerationleader.com/12. Download all the tools we’ve talked about today: The Support Challenge Matrix, The Intentional vs. Accidental View of the Five Circles of Influence and information about the intensive. Give some thought to that. If you’re interested in taking your leadership to the next level, there is no better way to do that than through an intensive and we will make it fit your schedule, your rhythm so that we can bring the best, unlock your potential and take you to your potential of being a leader worth following.

Well, thanks for listening to Episode 12 of The New Generation Leader Podcast, “Your Leadership is Not an Accident.” I hope you leave today knowing that your leadership is not an accident. You can be intentional and when you are intentional, each and every day, every minute of every day, in every circle of influence in your life, you will take that influence to a new height, to a new potential and unlock relationships and insights that you never knew were possible.

Thanks for listening to The New Generation Leader Podcast. Subscribe today on your favorite podcasting platform. Ready to reach your true potential? Join our network of like minded leaders in the New Generation Leader Mastermind Group. Find all the tools you need at newgenerationleader.com. Thanks for listening today and we look forward to seeing you next time on The New Generation Leader Podcast.