In my previous posts, I’ve been reviewing the importance of leadership development through the refinement of leadership stories of adversity and failures, often called crucibles. Leaders can become transformed; being more authentic when they teach others through the hard lessons they’ve learned.
Leaders often begin their careers with a strong drive to achieve and succeed. They focus on themselves, their performance and the results they want to achieve. As they mature, gain experience and rise to higher responsibilities, there often is a shift from “I” to “we.” Leadership becomes collaborative.
Great leaders become teachers, role models and mentors, using their influence to groom others. They are ultimately rewarded with the gifts of authenticity, compassion and humility.
In my previous post, I asked you eight questions about a leadership crucible you experienced. As you gain greater self-awareness from this writing exercise, add the following questions to the assignment:
- How have my crucible experiences enabled me to discover my passion for making a difference in the world?
- How have my crucibles affected my view of my leadership abilities?
- Can I pinpoint examples of leading from an “I” vs. “we” perspective?
- How much time do I spend focusing on others vs. myself?
Be sure to review the answers with your coach or mentor.
Your Stories Help You Sustain Success
As hard as it may be to review unpleasant events from your past, the benefits certainly outweigh the discomfort you’ll initially feel.
- You’ll gain greater awareness of your values, principles and beliefs.
- Your crucibles have the potential to shape your passion to lead.
- Understanding your crucibles helps you move from an “I” to a “we” orientation — a critical development for leadership integrity.
- Going through crucibles enhances your capacity for empathy and compassion – critical leadership skills.
- Crucibles can be used to learn about who you are, what you stand for, as well as about how you learn and grow.
- Your leadership lessons are invaluable for authentically teaching and grooming others.
As you face future crucibles, ask yourself:
How can I draw from my strengths and knowledge reservoir to sustain myself and learn to thrive from these difficulties?
Your answers to this question will shape your leadership effectiveness. I’d love to have a conversation with you about your own leadership journey – let’s talk.