The kind of leader I’d like to be

There are many ways I could describe the kind of leader I’d like to be (successful, well-liked, charismatic, influential, caring, and so on), but if I had to sum it up in one word, it would be intentional.

To me, being intentional means being aware of why you’re doing what you’re doing, even if that means “for no reason at all” or “because my gut tells me so.” It means developing an awareness of when you’re motivated by things like fear, concern, self-interest, caprice, love, or ego (or some combination) so that you can choose the best course of action for the situation at hand rather than falling back on the one that fits your immediate, unacknowledged motivation.

This is what Mahan Khalsa calls “getting real”–acting based on what’s actually going on in a situation rather than what we want to be the case, what others are telling us is the case, or what we guess is the case. He discusses getting real as part of the consulting sales process, but I definitely consider it a skill required for any leader to be effective (and even to be effective in your personal life, because, as he says at the opening of Let’s Get Real or Let’s Not Play, “Sales skills are life skills”).

One of my goals for this blog is to get real about my own abilities as a leader (both those I currently possess and those I’m looking to develop) so that I can be a more effective leader in my day-to-day work and help those around me (clients, colleagues, and peers) to do so as well.


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