Before we get into the three stages, lets first define two keywords to connect what you are doing to who you are becoming.
Transform; To change in condition, nature, or character; convert.
Lead; To influence or induce; cause.
When you set out to take your life to the next level, you’re making a conscious effort to become the person you see in your mind’s eye. This realization leads to the process of transformation.
To take that a layer deeper, the misalignment comes from how you see yourself compared to what you feel is your purpose.
It’s unsettling; something within you is calling for a change, a desire to grow takes over and a new self-drive from your core leads to a single first step. Which is also the single biggest step in your journey.
This is Stage 1, The Drive.
Stage 1 – The Drive; this is when enough is enough, you want to expand in all or any area of life, so you go all-in to make it happen. This drive becomes the bedrock of how you lead yourself and your team.
Benefit: No external feedback interfering.
Challenge: No accountability
As a leader, coming out of the drive stage can feel uneasy. You begin to get attention for your change, you are being noticed, receiving validation and praise for your efforts and small wins along the way.
This is also a very DANGEROUS place to be. The benevolent compliments are addicting. The malevolent comments are painful. This will challenge your commitment and identity as a leader on your path. The big question becomes, “Can you walk the line of praise and criticism from your peers while handling the internal dialogue?”
This is Stage 2, The Process.
Stage 2 – The Process; this is when your environment begins to notice a shift in how you look. How you act in social settings. How you are showing up at work, your way of being is outside the way people have experienced you before now.
Benefit: Build strength and awareness through valued feedback.
Challenge: Overcoming how other people think about you and this increase in attention.
Letting go of the process stage accepting you are now the version you set out to become can be tricky. This is of vital importance. Here you learn the process is not about you, it’s about strengthening your ability to impact the lives of other people. You want to be your best version of a leader so you can GIVE, not seek, recognition. This is when true leveling-up takes place.
Realizing your PURPOSE is not about you is the result you want, it may not feel like it, but it is. As a leader, you will still receive recognition, validation, and criticism. Yet now you have a bigger purpose of setting others up for success. Recognizing others is vital, and there is not enough going around.
That said, your job is to find ways to set your people up for success so they have as many opportunities as possible for their growth and contribution. This is Stage 3, The Alignment.
Stage 3 – The Alignment; external feedback wanes and anyone new in your life knows you at this point of your journey. You feel aligned with how you self-identify and your purpose.
Benefit: You’ve established a new norm, congruency is evident through your results.
Challenge: Letting go of the attention reinforcing and validating what you’ve accomplished. It’s time to shift your sights to the next level.
The Truth Test: Self-sabotage will creep in. Keeping it at bay is a test you’ll have to pass by staying in your new truth to continue to expand rather than going back to old comforts.
The transformational journey in any area of life affects all other areas. From your internal drive, the process you will go through, and the powerful alignment you experience will be worth it when you realize the impact you make on others.
Letting go of the need for personal recognition, while finding gratitude in the recognition and achievements of those you lead is an amazing indicator of what success feels like.
Will it be easy? Nope.
Will you be happy you did it? Absolutely.
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