There are a lot of leadership secrets out there, but one that I think is the most important is this: you must be willing to grow personally. This leadership secret has helped me become a better leader, and it can help you too! In this blog post, we will discuss the two rules of what I refer to as “Automatic Leadership”.
But first, let’s look at adding value to others.
Adding Value to Others Earns Influence
Leadership is influence, influence in the lives of others. It is influencing others towards a goal, and one of the best ways to influence others is to add value to their lives. You can add value by helping out with chores, counseling, coaching, teaching, or a myriad of other things. When you add value to others, influence comes with it. Don’t seek to acquire influence; seek to add value. So, to become a better leader, you need to become a better value-adder.
How to Become a Better Value-Adder
The way to become a better value-adder is to become better or more valuable. Let me clarify that I am not referring to your intrinsic value as a person, a child of God, but to the value that you can add to others.
As a leader, you can’t take people somewhere you’ve not been, and you cannot pour out what you do not contain.
Personal Growth & Deliberate Practice
Becoming a better value-adder is simply a matter of personal growth and development. In his article, The Making of an Expert, Dr. Anders Ericsson asserts that we need to do something he calls “deliberate practice” to develop expertise.
Ericsson says that when most people practice, they focus on what they already know how to accomplish. Deliberate practice is an entirely different thing. It necessitates significant, particular, and continuous efforts to accomplish something you can’t do well—or even at all. According to studies in a variety of domains, it is only by working on what you can’t do.
Experience Will Only Take You So Far
Ericsson also says that experience will only take you so far, and that in many careers, such as brain surgeons, that after five years, additional years of experience do not make us better. What does make us better? Deliberate practice does, and deliberate practice requires a coach, at least initially.
Try Something New to Expand the Scope of Your Abilities
In simpler terms, when people practice, they usually do things they already know how to do. You should try something new when you are practicing. Work hard on the things that are hard for you to do so that you can learn how to be better at them.
Deliberate practice, as the name implies, entails learning in two areas: expanding your current abilities and extending the range and scope of your abilities.
Are There Skills that Cannot Be Learned?
Interestingly, Ericsson also debunks a common myth that charisma, which is a desirable element of leadership, is an innate skill and cannot be learned. However, it has been proven that even charisma can be learned through deliberate practice.
Deliberate Practice Leads to Greater Capacity
Becoming a better leader is about stretching yourself beyond your current limits. In that stretching, you strengthen, grow, and increase your own capacity.
With your own capacity and expertise increased, you are now more equipped to add value, to pour more value into others. More value equals more influence. More influence equals more leadership.
Two Foundational Rules of Automatic Leadership
Rule #1: Start with You (period).
- This is the 1 Leadership Secret No One Is Talking About.
- Deliberate Practice
Rule #2: Always Add Value
- Add value to others in every interaction. This is servant-leadership.
- When you add value to others, you earn influence in their life.
What is Automatic Leadership?
Automatic Leadership is the process by which you purposefully and consistently work on your own personal growth and development to gain better skills, more knowledge, more wisdom, and become better, and this growth results in an unstoppable overflow of value that emerges from you in every interaction you have with people. It is about focusing on the inputs that make you better rather than “trying” to be a better leader.
Leadership starts with you (period). Deliberate practice will help you become a better leader and add more value to others. What makes us better? Deliberate practice does; it requires personal growth and development to grow your expertise and increase capacity.
When you start with yourself and add value to others, you will be an Automatic Leader who is always growing and increasing in impact, making a difference.
Your #1 Goal As A Leader Is To Make An Impact (Period)
That’s just How to Become a Leader People Want to Follow