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Activating Your Next Level Leadership

Updated: Apr 11



What is Next Level Leadership? Yes, "next level" implies a higher level of functioning. A bigger perspective. Having higher capacity in certain areas of expertise. Stepping up to your potential.


It's crucial to contrast it with typical leadership methods. Typical leadership often revolves around maintaining the status quo, sticking to the same old strategies, and relying on tried and tested practices. It is about following procedures and avoiding discomfort, essentially staying within a comfort zone. While there is a place for this, it's undeniably a limited way to lead. Typical leaders don't get very far very fast.


Next Level Leadership, on the other hand, involves taking ownership of experiences by embracing challenges as opportunities and failures as lessons for improvement.


Next Level Leadership, on the other hand, involves taking ownership of experiences by embracing challenges as opportunities and failures as lessons for improvement.

Next Level Leaders realize that:

  • Progress takes precedence over perfection.

  • Delegating tasks isn't just about being lazy; it's about empowering others and freeing up valuable time.

  • Prioritization becomes key for effective goal achievement, emphasizing the broader vision over the mere completion of tasks.


A Next Level Leader recognizes that there are multiple routes to reach a goal and that conflicts are inevitable. They understand that leveraging diverse opinions and strengths is essential to find the best way forward.


Here are a few examples that illustrate the contrast.

  • When a project hits a roadblock or a failure, a typical leader might resort to blaming others or forcing the project through, while a Next Level Leader would introspect, take responsibility for their contribution to the outcome, and use the situation as a learning opportunity.

  • In the face of an overwhelming number of tasks, typical leaders may overwork and sacrifice their well-being, whereas a Next Level Leader employs strategic planning, delegation, and a discerning approach to differentiate between “must have’s” and “nice-to-haves”.

  • When a coworker avoids you, a typical leader might reciprocate the avoidance, but a Next Level Leader would proactively seek common ground by understanding the colleague's motivations and fostering a stronger relationship.

  • Typical leaders focus on activity and checking off lists, whereas a Next Level Leader takes a step back to look at the big picture, evaluates what is happening in the context of larger goals, and aligns daily tactics with the overarching strategic vision of the organization.


In essence, while typical leaders repeat the same actions and defer to authority, Next Level Leaders take charge of their growth, see themselves as constantly improving, and focus on effective responses to challenges.

In essence, while typical leaders repeat the same actions and defer to authority, Next Level Leaders take charge of their growth, see themselves as constantly improving, and focus on effective responses to challenges.

This distinction serves as a guiding principle for individuals looking to embrace transformative leadership and make a lasting impact.


If you're looking to launch your Next Level Leadership, you'll need structure. Here are the major components to jump-start your development to that next level:

  • Feedback. Ask peers and a manager to provide their perspective on what they appreciate about working with you, and what could improve.

  • Mission Statement: What kind of leader are you aspiring to? Consider an adjective that describes such a leader, like "innovative" or "servant" as well as the overall set of actions that such a leader engages in, like "challenges the status quo". Finally, a mission should be for the sake of something larger. The whole statement would be "As a [what kind of] leader, I [set of actions] for the sake of [something larger].

  • Behaviors to Stop/Start Doing. If someone were to shoot a video of the leader that you are aspiring to, what would you stop doing (that you do now) and start doing (that you don't do now)? List as many behaviors as you can.

  • Objective. This is a specific goal that starts with "I will" and that supports your Mission Statement. You should be able to look back at it and say "I achieved this" because it's specific enough to put your finger on. "I will regularly assert my opinion in meetings" or "I will begin and and my presentations with a question."

  • Limiting Assumptions. What beliefs are getting in the way of achieving your objective? Perhaps "my opinion doesn't matter" or "I'm not respected" are making you stay quiet or speed through presentations. You'll want to test this and challenge its truth if you want to make progress.

  • Practices. You'll need to take tangible steps to learn something new (read a book) and experiment with new actions. These should be aligned with your objective. These practices should be as specific as if you were doing a workout ("3 sets of 5 reps, 3 days per week"). From here, you'll schedule in specific actions into your calendar.

  • Metrics. How will you know you've achieved your objective? Who will notice? What numbers will change? How will you feel?

  • Action-Learning Peer Support. Meet with others who are on the leadership path, and share what actions you intended to take, what you actually did, and what you've learned from it. Then set your next actions. This simple yet powerful process, when conducted with others, fuels the inherent growth process within you.


This entire process is like a chemistry kit: put the above elements together, and you will catalyze transformation in yourself.

Create a plan, and refer back to it frequently -- if you do so, you absolutely will grow as a leader.


You'll become more effective at what you do, and you'll feel better about your leadership. Hold yourself accountable to the practices, and you will inevitably achieve your objective. When in doubt, ask yourself: am I living my mission statement? The Mission statement is your north star, so anytime you get lost, you know where to look.


Next Level Leadership is everyone's destiny if they so choose to activate this potential within themselves.

 

Work with me!



Click here for a free webinar on how I help authentic leaders step into their next level leadership and create whole systems flourishing


I am certified as a Leadership Maturity Coach by Beena Sharma and Susanne Cooke-Greuter of the Vertical Development Academy. If you're interested in learning how I can coach you in your vertical development, please reach out to me at David@evolutionaryemergencecoaching.com. You can also find more at www.verticaldevelopment.com.

 


Watch my impromptu video that inspired this blog post:



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