Yoda and The Future of Leadership
When you reflect on people you admire most what comes to mind? Often, the idea of success brings to mind others who have achieved a high level of recognition in a particular field.
Truly successful people seem to understand how to move past the thrill of momentary success, and understand the concept of mastery. The difference is that mastery is a person's ability to achieve repeated success over a long period.
To attain mastery over your vocation, it will take high doses of initiative and drive. If you would like to become a master of your field start by focussing on the three key practices that move people beyond success and towards mastery.
"Difficult to see, always in motion is the future. - Yoda, Grand Master Jedi"
Learn Your Strengths
For decades now the strengths movement has offered proof that there is value in people's differences - but power in their strengths. Do you have an idea of what your top five talent themes consist of? Perhaps the best place to start is identifying your unique talents and then working to mature them into strengths. In a recent study by the Gallup organization, they found that 90% of companies who put in place a strength-based management system experienced incredible results.
According to the 2015 Gallup Study:
10% to 19% increase in sales
14% to 29% increase in profit
3% to 7% higher customer engagement
6% to 16% lower turnover (low turnover companies)
26% to 72% lower turnover (high turnover companies)
9% to 15% increase in engaged employees
22% to 59% fewer safety incidents
Understanding your unique strengths and then putting them to work will help you to be more strategic in your approach to mastery. Since no master gets their alone cultivating a strength-based management system with your team will help everyone move swiftly in the same direction.
Learn Your Mission
What makes your heart come alive? If you can answer that question, you can begin to step towards defining your personal mission in life. While it may seem like a daunting task, it is no more daunting to identify your personal mission then it is to live another year without knowing it.
Here are a few examples of personal missions that are making a difference:
“To serve as a leader, live a balanced life, and apply ethical principles to make a significant difference.” - Denise Morrison, CEO of Campbell Soup Company
“To love God and love others.” - Joel Manby, CEO of Herschend Family Entertainment.
“To be a teacher. And to be known for inspiring my students to be more than they thought they could be.” - Oprah Winfrey, Founder of Oprah Winfrey Network
- (This space is intentionally left blank so that you can fill in yours.)
Learn to do less better
This is where it gets personal. Mastery takes intentionality and time. You simply can’t master everything - so you must choose what you do wisely. Learning to say no to things that seem important but are not the "most" important is a skill. This seems to be why a personal mission resonates with so many masters. Learning to do less better allows you the freedom to innovate.
In every area of life mastery is a choice. You can begin your journey from success to mastery, but it will not be easy. Rarely is the master born out of sheer brilliance or strength of skill. Mastery occurs at the end of long stretches of focus, dedication and perseverance. True masters don't go this journey alone. Finding an ally who can support you and your goals can shave years off the process of reaching this incredible level of achievement.