5 Ways Good Leaders Can Become Great
Five Ways Good Leaders Can Become Great
By Mark Wager
The difference between winning and losing can be incredibly small but the impact can be life changing. To illustrate my point let me share the story of Mack Robinson, one of the greatest athletes in history but it’s not surprising if you haven’t heard of him. Mack Robinson broke the world record for 200 metres, he actually destroyed the world record. It was a remarkable achievement but the problem was that he still came second. He came 0.4 seconds behind the winner Jessie Owens, who went on to become known as one of the famous athletes in Olympic history with statues built in his honour yet the story of Mack Robinson was very different. Instead of statues he went on to become a janitor at his high school. Two athletes with two incredibly different stories yet all that separated them was 0.4 seconds, the difference between winning and losing.
Whenever I recall the story of Mack Robinson it reminds me that in business, just like in sport it’s not enough to be good at what you do, in fact it’s not enough to be very good. In order to win you need to achieve greatness and this is no easy feat. In this week’s article I want to share with you how you can become a great Leader.
Tip 1: Adopt moonshot thinking
Google is one of the most successful companies in the world, a company that can easily be described as great. One of the hallmarks of their success is their attitude which is described as “moonshot thinking.” This is when the improvement you are aiming for is ten times where you are at now instead of traditionally aiming for a modest 10% increase. You are looking for an idea that will shoot you to the moon hence moonshot thinking has enabled Google to make many advancements which made them so successful and this attitude can work for you too. If you are going to work hard to become good you might as well work a little bit harder in order to become great.
Tip 2: Be humble
When I’m asked to name the number one quality that every successful leader needs to have, my answer is always the same, humility. The best leaders are humble and this is important not just because humility is an attractive quality but it also makes them better in their role. If you possess humility you are naturally motivated to consistently challenge yourself to do what works and become better at what doesn’t work. Without humility, you need to be prepared to be humbled as the most you can achieve is to stay at the level you are operating. You will become good but you will never become great.
Tip 3: Become comfortable with being uncomfortable
When we achieve a level of success it comes with a wave of celebration. Winning makes us feel good yet success has a bad side. Success makes us very comfortable and when we become comfortable it takes away our edge, our desire to reach an even higher level. When we go from being an average leader to becoming a good leader it’s easy to find the motivation because no one wants to be average yet when we become good it is very tempting to stay there yet if we want to become great we have to leave the comfort behind and embrace being uncomfortable. Greatness requires us to become comfortable with being uncomfortable.
Tip 4: Demand excellence in all areas
Greatness is a habit, it’s not something that should be turned on and turned off. The key difference between leaders who become great and the leaders who become good is consistency. Everyone is good at something and each and every single one of us can reach a level of greatness but very few can continue at this high level. In order to be great you need to demand more from yourself and from those around you, demand excellence in all areas. When you stay at a five star hotel it’s very different form a three star hotel. Your expectations are different not just in the rooms but also in the restaurant, the services offered and the standard of service. So become a five star leader and demand greatness in all areas of your life.
Tip 5: Be confident and curious
The journey to become good is well documented. There are a lot of good leaders around so it’s easy to find out what they have done and follow their lead. There are much fewer great leaders so the journey to greatness is one which is less travelled. In this article hopefully I’ve provided some tips on how you can become great but you need to be curious, do your own research, don’t be afraid to try things, don’t be afraid to fail just make sure you are confident enough to get back up, be curious and find your pathway to greatness and when you do, be confident to take that journey.
The story of Mack Robinson highlighted just how close you can get to greatness and still come up short. In his case it was a mere 0.4 seconds, this is why if you are determined to become a great leader you should never ever give up because if you do you might never discover just how close you were to achieving your goal.
Posted: Wednesday 2 March 2022