by Tasha M. Troy
I tend to be an independent learner and worker. I love to shut the door and “get into the zone” with a project.
However, sometimes it’s hard for me to include others in my work. They don’t move at my pace, and sometimes they interrupt my train of thought.
As I continue to develop my own leadership skills, this is an area of growth for me.
In his book Leadership Gold, John Maxwell gives us four keys to leading yourself well. These keys are
- learn followership,
- develop self-discipline,
- practice patience, and
- seek accountability.
What stands out to me today is how many of these points involve other people in leading myself. In my last article, The Most Difficult Person to Lead, I shared the first two keys with you, and now here are the last two.
The third key is to practice patience.
Practicing patience is sometimes a big challenge for me. I am very task-oriented and results-oriented, and I get impatient with the process of developing those good habits that will lead to success. I’m not often satisfied with the incremental improvements that I’m working towards. However, if we can practice patience and keep at our goals day by day, even if it’s a small step, small steps over time will get you to where you’re going.
The fourth key is to seek accountability.
This has been a key for me in the last couple years as I’ve been pursuing very challenging goals. I’ve always been a pretty independent thinker, and sometimes it’s pretty humbling to sit back, take advice, listen to criticism. I always think I’m teachable, but when I am directly criticized, I find how unteachable I might actually be.
I still don’t always react well to criticism, but I’ve learned the value of listening to other perspectives and trying to see myself through other people’s eyes. I’ve been able to connect with a number of people who help keep me accountable for my goals. Now that I’m working on some of these daily goals like getting up at a certain time and developing certain habits that will help me be more successful, I’ve developed some accountability partnerships with friends and colleagues so that it keeps me on track to do things that I wouldn’t normally wantto do but I know that will lead to long term goals.
So those are the four keys that John gives: learn followership, develop self-discipline, practice patience, and seek accountability. They sound so simple, but don’t be fooled – simple actions can have powerful results.
Where do you need to grow? In what areas do you feel like you need to become more than you are today? Could it be in the area of self-discipline? Could it be in the area of followership or developing patience? Who is there in your life who could help you become by becoming an accountability partner? These are some things to consider.
Take It Deeper
Which of these areas is a challenge for you? Do you have a hard time “trusting the process”? Or do you need to find an accountability partner to help you move forward? Good news – you can always start right where you are.
I know that sometimes it’s hard to know exactly where to start.
If you would like to go deeper on this topic, I offer an ongoing live online course on personal and professional development: Professional Development Essentials. We meet online every Monday night to discuss different elements of personal and professional growth and challenge each other to apply what we’ve learned. Let me know if you’d like to experience one lesson for free (firstname.lastname@example.org)!
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