Do you identify with being the hero of your own story, the author of your own breakthrough?
I’ve said before that I never thought I was a leader. For most of my life, I believed I was living a story where I was a supporting actor, dependent upon the central player’s decisions. But that changed when I made a critical decisio based on the following six quesitons.
First, do you see that story playing out in your life?
I didn’t have the identity, drive or confidence to lead. Maybe that is why I didn’t build the knowledge or skills to lead others in the early part of my life. Looking back, I didn’t understand that a leader is someone who leads their own breakthrough before helping others. Truth be told, I had no clue what a breakthrough looked like. I just wanted to survive and be comfortable. To do that, I was told I just had to find a good job and stick with it. That meant being obedient and playing the supporting role, leaving the leadership for someone much more qualified.
PWR Tip: You choose the role you play in your own story. No one dictates it for you.
Second, are you used to playing a supporting character instead of the lead?
So I worked to play that supporting role. I worked on being obedient assuming that I would eventually be rewarded as my leaders had promised. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. When it came time for my rightfully earned rewards, the rules were changed without notice. I found that I could not trust those in leadership to do what was honest and ethical because they were blinded by their own agenda.
PWR Tip: Playing the hero is your choice. You don’t have to play a supporting role.
Third, are you frustrated the promise of success that doesn’t happen?
It didn’t take long for me to see that obedience wasn’t going to lead to my breakthrough. Instead, all it did was make me someone else’s lap dog. They threw me a bone while they ate the juicy steak, claiming it was a good bone for someone of my capabilities. For a while I believed their lies. In the process, I started to become skeptical and cynical while doubting who I was and what I could do. That is a very ugly story to live or watch.
PWR Tip: Use the frustration to live a breakthrough story.
Fourth, are you doubting your ability to break through?
To break through, I had to shift my thinking, story and role. That started with reading the stories of great leaders. Many came from a situation worse than mine. I thought, “If they can do it, could I?” Upon closer examination, I saw how they broke through and started studying their strategy.
PWR Tip: Build your confidence one small break through at a time.
Fifth, what great leaders can you learn from by reading their story?
As I read story after story in biographies, anthologies, autobiographies, business books and articles, I recognized something about their stories – they were romantic stories, not tragedies. It was only then that I fully realized that by expecting someone else to be the hero of my breakthrough, I was leading a tragic life. It would not end well because I was relying on someone else to rescue me. Instead, those great success stories were told because they were romances, not tragedies.
PWR Tipow to bre: Learn hakthrough from those that have already done it.
Sixth, do you believe your story will end well? Or will it be a frustrating failure?
I also noticed that the story ended well because the individual purposely stepped into the hero’s role. Whether they were businessmen, journalists, politicians, athletes or actors, they decided what they wanted and pursued it. In the process, they built relationships with individuals who became the cast of their story. Together, they made their own breakthrough and created breakthroughs for the team. That is why others wrote their story and many gladly read that story.
PWR Tip: Make a purposeful and strategic decision how your story will end. Otherwise, someone else will decide for you.
Become the Disruptive Leader and Break Through
I am Dr. Loren Murfield and I work with aspiring and emerging leaders to breakthrough and become disruptive leaders, doing the impossible by changing the paradigm of their thinking and telling powerful stories. If that is your desire, contact me today.
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(c) Murfield International, Inc. 2017