YOU’VE GOT THIS!
Both leadership and fitness are pathways to self-discovery. For those who embrace the journey, it can be a spiritual one of self-awareness, connectedness, and fulfillment. I wrote this book to help you on your journey to become stronger, better, more agile, and adaptable, and to have the impact you would like. I hope I challenged you to think differently about what it means for you to be a leader, and more important, what it means to be the best leader possible.
You cannot sit on the sidelines and expect results. To be at your best, you must be proactive and engaged. It’s time to take control of your leadership fitness so you can truly build your leadership strength, flexibility, endurance, and impact.
Peak leadership fitness is not a workshop or program. It is a lifestyle. It is a commitment to achieving your personal best for you and those you work with and lead. If you’ve read this far, you should have a greater understanding of where to start with your leadership development, how to grow your leadership mindset, and how to move from check-the-box development activities to truly transformational ones. You should also have insight into a wide variety of low-cost, high-impact development options.
Never start a leadership development regimen without having accurate self-awareness. Otherwise, how will you know what to work on and where to spend your energy for best results? Take your leadership pulse to find out how you are showing up as a leader. Remember that perception is truth, and those results will become the basis for your leadership fitness plan.
Having big dreams leaves you vulnerable to failure. This is where you need to rely on your leadership mindset to help you be resilient. Reframe failure as a hurdle to be overcome and an opportunity for you to learn. Challenge yourself with your goals and your plan. Make sure the activities you select go beyond your comfort zone and take into consideration your unique needs and available resources. However, keep in mind that if you try to stretch too much, you may get frustrated and give up on your plan. On the other hand, if you don’t stretch enough you will not grow or improve.
Training hard can be good, but training smarter is better. For this reason, what you consume matters. You cannot expect to achieve peak performance if you consume only one thing or nothing at all. You’ve got to have a steady, balanced diet to sustain your full and best energy. You need all parts of the system working together. Make smart investments to achieve remarkable results.
Activate your plan and make leadership development a habit. With the ever-increasing demands and pace of work, it’s easy for leadership development to fall by the wayside. And too often it does. The reality is that you never know what obstacles will present themselves as you work on becoming a better leader. You’ve got to press on despite any obstacles or challenges.
There are no shortcuts to maximizing your fitness. You’ve got to be willing to put in the effort. However, effort is not synonymous with massive commitments of time or money. Your ongoing development should be about the quality of your activities, not the quantity.
Opportunities for leadership development are all around you. You just need to know where to look and how to integrate the activities into your regular routine. Having read this book, now you do. You have access to a variety of ongoing activities to build strength and endurance and maintain your flexibility. Some you can initiate yourself, while others require more coordination and possibly approvals. Mix it up and you will keep your interest, attention, and focus.
Once you have a plan in place, you just need to take that first step—and then the next one. Then you’ll have momentum on your side. Keep with it—keep taking those steps—and you will see results.
Make leadership development stick. Immediately put into practice what you learn. Seek feedback, and then be sure to reflect upon what you learned, what you would do the same, and what you would do differently. Reflection is your opportunity for recovery. This dance between action, feedback, and reflection allows you to recalibrate what you think is possible and how you can go about achieving new levels of performance. It allows you to continuously raise the bar.
Peak leadership fitness is not—and should not be—all about you. Make a commitment to yourself and those you lead. Your top-line commitment should be to become the best leader possible for the good of those you lead and your organization.
Part of being at your best requires giving back, such as helping your team members realize their greatest potential and developing future leaders. You have both the opportunity and obligation to develop others. Wherever you are in your leadership journey, you have something to offer. Perhaps it is technical knowledge or expertise. Or maybe it is some unique experience, insight, or perspective.
When it comes to your leadership fitness, remember, anything is possible. If you’ve come this far, you are certainly ready to take your next step. Train smart and train often. Build good habits. Develop yourself and others. You’ve got this.