Discover 3 Questions to Unlock Your Leadership Potential and Massively Increase Your Results
When stepping into a bigger leadership role, some people believe they need to adopt a new persona … putting on their leadership face like they’d put on a jacket.
But trying to be someone you’re not — to “fake it ‘til you make it” only weakens you by disconnecting you from your inner power. The key to becoming an exceptional leader is to become more authentic, as my friend and former client, Paula discovered.
A Top Performer Feels Drawn to Leadership
Paula was a high-performing account sales person for a Fortune 500 company. She was tasked with caring for the company’s most important clients.
I was teaching a 6-day strategic immersion event where I would help leaders create plans to achieve their biggest goals.
During the event, Paula came up with a new dream that she wanted to create. Immersed in the event, she had time to reflect on her remarkable career and the results she had produced in the years she had been a successful account executive. She recognized that much of her success could be credited to the incredible business mentorship she had received while working for phenomenal leaders.
Paula also reflected on the new, up-and-coming sales professionals at her organization. She realized that many of them were struggling mightily to create the types of results she was achieving.
Now, if someone were scarcity-minded, they wouldn’t want to share their secrets to success. They’d want to hold their secrets close to their chest and hoard their wisdom so only they could benefit.
But Paula had a generous heart. She wanted to serve the next generation of sales professionals by passing along her wisdom and hard-won lessons.
She also recognized that she had a calling. She could feel the tug of her intuition guiding her to step into a leadership position, which she instinctively knew would help her grow, stretch, and enjoy more of what she was capable of doing.
Unlocking the First Hidden Law of Leadership
Paula and I embarked on a journey where I coached her in stepping into being a leader. And what an amazing job she did!
During the time we worked together, I shared with Paula the 7 hidden laws of leadership. These are little-known principles that the world’s most successful innovators and leaders use to create extraordinary results. I’m going to share these principles with you — one per week, starting today — and explain how they work in the real world.
Paula and I worked first on her mindset by leveraging the Law of Essential Self, which says that examining and answering, “Who am I?” determines leadership potential.
By asking herself, “Who am I?” Paula formed her own identity of who she was as a leader. When you ask that question and examine your answer, you’ll soon identify and be able to define what you’re capable of achieving.
3 Questions to Uncover Your Essential Self
To answer the question, “Who am I?” I invited Paula to reflect on three powerful questions.
Question 1: “Who do I believe I am?”
There is no right or wrong answer here. Sit quietly, pondering this question, and see what bubbles up for you. I’ll share my answer to illustrate what answering this question might look like.
Who do I believe that I, John Boggs, am? I believe that I am a spiritual being having a human experience. I believe that I am more than just this flesh and blood.
I also believe that I am connected to a power greater than my own personal power. I know from my own experience that if I partner with this power that’s greater than me, I can achieve far more than I would ever achieve in my own personal power.
Yes, I am living and breathing and moving in this physical world that I am in. I do not deny circumstance, situation or conditions. I have to do specific strategies, day in and day out, to achieve real-world results.
And yet answering the question, “Who do I believe I am?” is highly important. It helps me tap into who I am at my core. By tuning into my authentic self, I become aware of the unlimited resources that are available to me. And I become of my potential and calling to achieve things that are greater than I might otherwise hope to create on my own.
Question 2: “Do I believe that I have untapped potential?”
Do you believe you’re capable of more than you have achieved up until now? Or have you already peaked in your life?
I believe the answer is that every single one of us, me included, has untapped potential. The only choice is whether we will use that potential to step into greater leadership and create bigger results.
Even if your initial, gut answer was, “Of course I have untapped potential, John,” I want you to consider the question and respond thoughtfully. Feel your response deep in your heart, gut and soul. Feeling the response from the deepest part of your being will raise the bar on your leadership potential.
Question 3: Am I willing to do what it’s going to take to unlock that potential?
To achieve results you haven’t achieved yet, you have to become a new version of yourself and you have to do things you’ve never done before.
It will take courage. It will take commitment. It will take effort, persistence, and grit.
By asking yourself this question and solemnly giving your answer, you’ll ground yourself in the energy of 100 percent, no-matter-what commitment to your potential and dreams.
Stay Authentic in Your Leadership
As Paula worked with these questions and used the answers to guide her evolution, she transformed into a highly successful executive leader. She became the manager of major accounts, leading an elite team within this Fortune 500 company. She unlocked her potential and unleashed her ability to pass on her wisdom.
By embracing her calling to become leader, Paula empowered herself to pass on her wisdom and help her team achieve amazing results in their lives.
Foundational to her success was Paula’s commitment to being authentic and staying true to her essential self.
Paula didn’t change who she was. She didn’t have to become someone different to be a good leader. She just became a more vivid, authentic version of herself.
She was transparent. She was open. She was humble. She was authentic.
When you employ these ideas and principles in your leadership, you’ll inspire and motivate the people around you. And then you, too, can pass your wisdom on to help others grow. To me, sharing your wisdom is one of the fruits of great, inspired leadership.
Connecting with Your Essential Self
The first law of leadership, the Law of Essential Self, is simple: Define and answer for yourself who you are. Your success as a leader springs from the answers you discover in this process.
As an ever-evolving leader, you definitely have more that you’re capable of achieving. Be willing to do what it’s going to take. And then stay real, stay authentic, stay true to who you are at your core.
Now it’s your turn – I’d love to know how you answer these three questions. Will you share your thoughts below?