One of the biggest transformations I've experienced in becoming the leader I am today has been taking time to listen to my inner voice. I have intentionally taken the time to spend in stillness and think about what my team needs, what I need, and what my family needs.
We get inundated with thoughts and ideas on what makes a great leader. There are millions of books and podcasts on leadership and we watch and observe our current leaders. We do this all in the effort to help shape who we want to be.
But the key is to look inside ourselves. We need to understand and listen to our inner voice and what it is telling us.
So how do we train ourselves to listen to our inner voice?
There are five keys that I have found to train yourself to listen to your inner voice:
Visualization - To become the leader you were meant to be you need to visualize where you want to go. You need to be intentional in your actions and to understand your goal. If you want to be a jerk, then dismiss people and lead by fear and authority. If you want to be a great leader, then visualize yourself leading with love and understanding.
Stillness - We all need to take time to think and just be with ourselves. Are we creating white spaces in our calendars to take a walk, read a book, or just meditate?
Learning - Great leaders are innovators. They never stop learning; they never stop honing their craft; and they are always looking both inside and outside their area of expertise for new information they can use. As Seth Godin says, "The beauty of being a leader is that it is not just a science. It is an art." This means that you get to take this great information and make it your own.
Self-talk - Take time to talk to yourself. The most important conversations you are going to have are with yourself. Be open, be honest, and most importantly, be self-aware.
Journaling - Something special happens when you write your thoughts down on paper. A goal that is not written down is just a wish. I believe that is the same for our thoughts. Until we write them down, they are just that, thoughts. When we journal and write our thoughts on paper it allows us to remember special moments, reflect on what we are learning, and helps bring perspective on the thoughts running through our heads. For me, journaling and writing has brought so much more clarity to the way I view events and how I respond.
Once you take these five keys to heart you will begin to more clearly hear your inner voice. And once you understand that voice you will be well on your way to becoming the leader you were meant to be.
Until next time…I’m Marty, make every minute count.