Leadership Lesson #10: Don’t worry about who’s ahead of you

LeadershipLesson10

Leadership Lesson #10: Don’t worry about who’s ahead of you

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Category : leadership

Author’s note: This is the tenth in a series of articles about the leadership lessons learned while hiking Usery Mountain with my 17-year-old son.  Read them all here.

Sometimes on the hike, I could see people far, far ahead of me. With occasional switchbacks and vegetation growing low to the ground, it was easy to spot other hikers, including some that were way ahead of me on the trail, like my son in his neon yellow tank top.

It was easy to wish that I was where they were. Easy to wish I had covered more ground and faster – remember, my son had a plane to catch – and that I was closer to the summit, just like they were.

It was easy to wish I was as fit as some of those who were ahead of me.

It was easy to wish I could hike faster, like my son, whose spirit animal is a mountain goat.

It was easy to wish I had the hiking boots/clothes/gear of those who were ahead of me the trail.

But . . .

Envy has no place on the mountain.

And it has no place in leadership.

We are where we are, and that’s all.

When we drop the need to compare and the feeling that we need to measure up, we step more fully into our own authentic leadership.

From that authentic and grounded place, it doesn’t matter if

:  a friend from college produced an award winning film

:  a colleague who started at the same time is now a Vice President

:  a fellow grad school student published a book/got recruited by a top firm/ran a marathon

In fact, from a grounded, authentic place, we can enjoy their victories and accomplishments with them and cheer them on to their next success. Because we are no longer comparing ourselves to them.

When we stop being concerned with who’s ahead of us, we can bring our focus on ourselves, which is exactly where we need it to be.

What are my strengths?

What do I value?

How am I doing today?

What do I need right now to be even better?

Only when we get clear on the answers to these questions, can we be the best leaders we can be.

And we can be free.

:  Free from comparison, judgement and pretending to be something other than what we really are.

:  Free to lead with our own strengths, values and ideals.

:  Free to be the leaders we have developed ourselves into.

So don’t worry about who’s ahead of you.

Stay focused on where you are right now and lead from that perfect place.

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