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The Gift Great Leaders Give


People don’t need help being realistic.

We’re all already negative enough.

Our typical default is towards why things won’t work and why they’re not possible.

Most of us do just fine on our own coming up with reasons, excuses, and justifications for why our dreams won’t come true.

And we don’t usually need much assistance thinking about the worst case scenario or knowing what the ultimate failure might look like.

No, most of us do that just fine all by ourselves.

What we need help with is believing.

What we need assistance with is dreaming.

What we need affirmation with is what could be possible.

Which is why a part of leadership has to be helping people believe in a bigger future.

We have to help people see what could be possible for their own lives.

We have to show people a plan for how something magnificent could actually come true.

And we have to do the work to take people with us on the path as we embark towards the new.

Because there is no shortage of naysayers in the world who will tell them it can’t be done.

There is no lack of critics who will point out every reason it won’t work.

And there is no absence of realism that will remind us that we’ve never accomplished anything like this before.

But naysayers never advance the world.

Critics don’t create change.

And realism always betrays a person of their chance to reach their full potential.

Which is why we need to lead.

We need to help people believe.

We need to convince them that it’s possible.

And we need to put in the work to show them how.

If you can do that…

If you can show someone a plan for how the impossible can be achieved…

If you can convince someone that their dream can come true…

If you can demonstrate the kind of work it takes to break belief barriers and explode limiting beliefs…

Then you have changed everything for them.

You have led them.

And you have redefined realistic for them.

And that is a great is a great service.

A tremendous gift.

And perhaps a once in a lifetime blessing.

Because people don’t need help being realistic; they need help believing in the bold.

Why You Aren’t Growing Other Leaders


Most organizations are terrible at growing and developing new leaders; but they can’t figure out why.

It’s because their current leaders aren’t trained to be leaders. Typically their current leaders became leaders by being great performers.

And what got you here as a performer, won’t get you there as a leader.

Performers do great work.

But leaders help get other people to do great work.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do great work as a leader, or that you should do less work.

It just means that a large part of your new work is helping other people to do great work. A large part of your new role as a leader is developing other leaders.

And very often that means you letting go, giving up control, and allowing for other people to step up and help.

Yet if you’ve been a top performer who has become a leader, you will likely be plagued by challenging self-talk such as:

They won’t be able to do it as well as I can.

It’s just faster for me to do it myself.

I’m really the only person who knows how to do this.

No one else can really be trusted with this.

And even,

I don’t think anyone else is capable of figuring this out.

While those are very normal and natural thoughts they are, at their very core, just examples of leadership FEAR.

Remember FEAR stands for false evidence appearing real.

And those are fears because they are things that seem logical in your brain, yet they are powered by emotionally irrational thinking.

The surprising reality is that in most cases people will rise to the level of leadership you allow to be available to them.

People rise up.

People step up.

People figure it out.

People find a way.

So assuming you are surrounded by good people, you don’t have to hang onto everything yourself.

Give yourself the permission of short term imperfection and empower someone else to improve their skill set and complete more of the crucial tasks.

You’ll likely be impressed that they rise to the level of leadership you allow to be available to them.

Giving Effective Praise – Found, Felt, Feel

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See you in the stairwell,

Rory Vaden
Take the stairs – Success means doing what others won’t.