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Excellence: Taking your leadership to new heights

November 21, 2010

John C. Maxwell
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 17:47:00 11/20/2010

AS A child, did you ever wish that you could fly? The longing to escape gravity seems ingrained in our imaginations. Fictional characters from Superman to Mary Poppins to Aladdin have soared across the sky on adventures. Michael “Air” Jordan’s fame rested, in part, on his seeming ability to glide above his opponents on the court to slam-dunk the basketball. Kite flying remains a popular pastime and air shows draw crowds to watch planes perform aerial acrobatic feats.

Our longing to take flight transfers to our careers. We don’t want to be stuck on the bottom level; we want to soar. We desire to be on top, to excel in our work.

Whatever your occupation and regardless of your position, here are three habits of excellence which, when attained, will get you off the ground.

Work with your whole heart

I’ve never met a halfhearted leader who sustained excellence. The successful leaders I know are ablaze with desire to see their vision come to fruition. Having an end in mind, they approach work with joy and expectancy.

What should you do if you feel unmotivated on the job?

1.) Seek self-awareness of your strengths and find ways to express them. What do you do well? What captures your attention? What have you enjoyed doing in the past? If your role at work doesn’t provide an outlet for your strengths, volunteer them in another capacity.

2.) Monitor your attitude. Cease complaining and weed out negativity from your thoughts. Instead, concentrate on opportunities to learn and grow.

Devote undistracted attention to your job

Excellent leaders have laser-like focus. They fix their attention on top priorities and refuse to be diverted from accomplishing them. They work purposefully and strategically, doing what’s important instead of what’s easy.

How can you regain focus when your vision seems fuzzy?

1.) Prioritize your time. If you don’t budget your time, others will spend it for you. Control your calendar so that your hours are spent on what matters most.

2.) Protect your environment. Distractions creep in and hold our attention hostage. Take steps to eliminate interruptions. This can be as simple as turning off your phone during times of focused thought or sealing yourself off from others for a few minutes in the morning so that you can plan for the day.

Give maximum energy to your team

Leaders who excel give full commitment to their team. They offer their best day after day, always devoting maximum effort to their responsibilities. They understand what’s required to complete an assignment, and they don’t rest until every detail is in place and the project is finished.

1.) Eat well and exercise. Your health determines your quality and quantity of life. Don’t view your physical health in isolation; it connects to your emotional and mental health.

2.) Make rest a must. Leaders are generally driven, outcome-oriented people. As such, they can have a hard time seeing the value of rest and relaxation. In truth, you actually accomplish more when you discipline yourself to unplug and recharge periodically.

(Attend The Leadership Factor with Dr. Harold Sala, Francis Kong and best-selling author Jim Collins (on video) on November 27, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at the SMX Convention Center. Call Inspire Leadership Consultancy at 687-2614/706-4853. Visit us at http://www.inspireleaders.com. Special ticket prices of only P1,000 available on a limited basis.)

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