5 Ways to Become the Leader You Want to Be

This post was written by guest author Jason Young who recently ran a leadership workshop at the Village.

All of us want to be great.

You are busy. You are tired. You don’t have margin to focus. You are afraid to say no. You underestimate your value. You feel an unspoken performance pressure.

What if you could create a little margin to exponentially improve your skills as a leader?

Sir Dave Brailsford came to an underperforming Team Sky British Cycling Team in 2010. They had never won a Tour de France. Under his coaching, they would win twice in the first three years of his leadership. He also coached the British cycling team to win 70% of the gold medals in 2012 London Olympic Games.

Brailsford found 1 percent improvements that others were overlooking. Identify the best pillow for sleep and take it with them to hotels. Find the most effective massage gel. Avoid infection by helping riders know how to wash their hands.

What does this look like for you as an entrepreneur? Try making these five simple decisions:

1. The decision to get in the mindset.

When you’re in the right mindset about something, you are embracing what it means to be fully present. An investment firm researched mindsets and discovered characteristics of when it’s right. First, you’ve got a real desire to improve and will be seeking out every opportunity to get better as a leader. Second, you’re going to look to make a gain in every area you can that will help you be better in your role. Third, you’ll be exploring everything that will make a difference, including peripheral things that you’ve not considered before. Fourth, there’s much you don’t know and can learn, so will be taking every opportunity to learn from others about how you can get better. Fifth, you’ll be committed to your marginal gains approach, irrespective of the attitude of those around me. Finally, you’ll be 100% disciplined and committed to trying out this approach to see how good of a leader you can be.

2. The decision to become a craftsman.

Someone who is skilled in a particular craft is recognized as a craftsman. What if you focused on becoming a craftsman of your leadership? Put in the hours. Make sacrifices. Recognize you can always make it better. Be motivated by mastery. Believe in the end value. You become a craftsman when you make decision to start and refuse to stop.

3. The decision to prune.

Not everything is necessary nor is it helpful. When you can step back long enough to get a healthy view, you discover what needs to be ended. Think about the care a rosebush requires. First, when you prune a rosebush, you cut off good buds because it has more buds than it can sustain. Give it room for the best buds. Second, some buds are sick and not getting well. Cut them off. Finally, some buds are simply dead. Cut them off. You now have the best of what you want in the proper space it needs.

4. The decision to become remarkable.

Becoming remarkable isn’t accidental. When you harness the power of choice to become remarkable, you giving people something extraordinary. Be so good they can’t ignore you. Give people something positive to remark about. Live a compelling life. Choose to empathetic, which increases your likeability.

5. The decision to focus on focus.

Attention has come under siege. Making the decision to “obsessively” focus on knowing yourself and managing what you know well (strengths and limits), and knowing others well (how they feel, how they perceive things, what we can do to help them be their best) enables us to stay dialed in more effectively.

Ask yourself four simple questions to get started:
What’s right? Might need to keep it going.
What’s wrong? Might need to stop it.
What’s missing? Might need to add something.
What’s confusing? Might need to bring clarity.

Start small. Gain momentum. Watch slippery spots. Stay consistent. Ignore negative self-talk. Celebrate when you win.

You got this.