A leader’s job is to rally a group or team to achieve a unified goal. But before that happens, a leader must emerge. If you want to emerge as a leader, do these three things:
- Be curious. Curiosity is key to learning and growth. When curiosity is at the forefront of your thinking, you ask questions, which sparks possibility. You ask questions to yourself and to those around you to unlock opportunity. When I interviewed Clemson Head Football Coach Dabo Swinney for my Game Changers podcast, he told me that throughout his career, he was constantly preparing for the day he got the nod to be a head coach. He was always curious in his various roles as an assistant — so much so that he built a head coaching binder as he evolved in his career. He was always evaluating what worked and what didn’t; he was observing, questioning, and processing a better way so he was ready to lead as a head coach one day. When you’re curious, you pursue the “What ifs” in life. You ask, what’s possible. Calculated risks, brought about by curiosity, can help us bridge the gap between “One day I will…” to “Today I am…”
- Be Connected. Spoiler alert: it’s not about you! Whether at work or at home, when you focus on others, your relationships will deepen and your connections will strengthen. But important connections don’t just happen; you have to be intentional and commit your energy and time. As an agent, I had to build relationships with players and coaches so they would choose me and our agency to represent them. My mindset and behaviors were built around the idea of, “How can I act like I have the business before I have the business? In other words, how can I connect, add value, so one day I could lead them through their career. Connections are built and strengthened by getting into the head and heart of those you want to lead and say, how can I add value? I’d ask yourself, what relationships matter most in your life? What are ways in which you can consistently connect, engage and serve the people who matter most?
- Be Resilient. Resilience – the ability to bounce back from adversity quickly – is how leaders in business and sports distinguish themselves. Pro golfer Billy Horschel once told me that during a practice round he played with Tiger Woods, they got into a deep discussion about visualization. Visualizing great tee shots, approaches and draining long, difficult putts. Tiger said, “That’s great, but visualizing yourself recovering from tough moments is crucial, too.” In other words, visualize yourself in the sand trap on the 18th hole, having to get in the hole in 2 to win your first major. Resilience means your mindset is positioned for belief in your ability to recover. Your self-talk is one that says, “I got this” not “Why me, why now?” Leaders have to be able to battle through good days and bad, good moments and tough moments, great meetings and not so great; your leadership journey is directly connected to your ability to recover quickly from tough moments.
Your Game Changer Takeaway
If you want to emerge as a leader, start by practicing these three habits. When you can be curious, be connected and be resilient, you can stay sharp and rise up. By doing these things, you are on your way to becoming a leader worth following.
The Molly Fletcher Company inspires leaders, teams and organizations to kick-start growth. A keynote speaker and author, Molly draws on her decades of experiences working as a sports agent. Her company offers training and coaching programs to help leaders unleash their potential, including: Game Changer Negotiation Training, which teaches business people a framework for successful negotiating; Energized Leadertraining, which teaches people how to manage their energy to achieve focus and freedom; and a monthly coaching program, Game Changer Leadership Huddles, to help members recharge their purpose and mindset. Sign up here to receive our weekly newsletter and subscribe to the Game Changers with Molly Fletcher podcast on iTunes.