I've never been very into science fiction or outer space. Something about "no oxygen" just doesn't interest me! Despite my lack of interest, I learned something recently about the space program that caught my attention. One would think when NASA launches moonshots, it would be an exact science. However, in every Earth to moon shot, the rocket almost immediately goes off course.
A key component in successful missions is correcting and getting it right along the way.
Success requires constant adjustments. Leadership shares this similarity with space travel. No day is perfect, but every day can be a success. What's the key? Knowing the areas to focus on and adjust when necessary.
Keep the areas below on your radar, make course corrections at time and eventually you will successfully land where you're aiming.
Humor is our own admission of human frailty. Most leaders need to drop the sense of perfection. Perfect is an unrealistic expectation. Perfectionism doesn't mean "I'm perfect"; it means "I’m miserable!" Don't worry about getting something perfect, just get it started and you can get it perfect along the way.
Take an honest assessment of where you are right now. Leadership begins by defining reality. Be honest with those around you and yourself. Honesty accelerates productivity because it identifies your starting point. Get over feelings of fear and doubt that try to convince you that you should be further along than you are. You’re not graded on how good you are, you’re graded by how willing you are to get better.
Every project I lead has multiple moments where I say to myself, “I did not see that coming!” Stay open to changes and be willing to adapt. Be ready to go in any direction. Some of your best ideas come from the forth or fifth iteration of your original idea. Leaving the door open to opportunities allows opportunities to open doors.
If you are responsible for anything, you will face obstacles. What differentiates a leader from a person simply in charge is how they handle obstacles. Positivity is a cornerstone of good leadership. Resist the urge to wallow in what is difficult about a situation and have a great attitude about what you can do. Get the doubt out.
Dreams won’t be reality until you do the work to make them so. If you want it to work you have to work it. I easily tire of talking about "what I plan to do"; I need action! What can you do today to help your dream become a reality? Quit dreaming and schedule the first three things you will do to make that dream happen. Nothing dreamed up has any value until its on a calendar. How can you move your project down the field? Seek people out who will create momentum for you, . Make things happen.
Shooting for the moon is a good thing. Don't dream too small, dream big. Just know that success comes on the heels of constant adjustment. Stick with it. Don't quit. Keep leading bravely.
Kevin is a coach for couragetolead.com. He is also Executive Pastor at Stevens Creek Church in Augusta, Georgia, and the founder of LeadBravely.org. Kevin specializes in strategic thinking, financial health and developing teams. He lives in Augusta, GA, with his wife, Melissa, and two daughters.