The Leading Edge: Three powerful key questions that will help you grow as a leader
By Annica Törneryd
The International Maxwell Certification (IMC) event in Orlando, Florida has just come to an end.
Over 2,200 coaches, speakers and trainers came together from around the world to learn, grow, and get challenged and inspired to become better versions of ourselves on our journey of personal and professional leadership and growth.
Another notebook is filled to the brim with a compilation of wisdom, advice and strategies from our mentors in The John Maxwell Team on topics such as leadership, sales, public speaking, business building and more.
For those who are members of the Mentorship Program, a profound and foundational teaching session was delivered by Mark Cole, John Maxwell’s CEO, on The Maxwell Method of Leadership.
He spoke about the three key questions you must answer to be able to grow as a leader. These three questions are as equally valid for a person who is starting their personal growth journey or setting up a business as they are for a seasoned leader with a clear vision and strong values.
For the beginner, the questions are foundational, and, for the experienced leader, they are essential as a tool to regularly assess if your actions are congruent with your vision.
To grow as a leader, you must know the answers to these three questions:
- Why am I doing what it is I am doing? At the end of the day, we need to know our “why.” It is the factor that will help us keep moving forward in times of adversity; it is what will make us want to jump out of bed in the morning and greet each day with a smile.
- What do I want? When you allow yourself to dream and visualize your life JUST the way you want it to be, what do you see? What is your vision? When we are clear on our vision, we have yet another component to help us persist through hard times, continue the uphill climb, and see that light to aim for at the end of the tunnel. When our vision is clear and we know exactly what we want, it is so much easier to take action accordingly.
- How am I getting there? When you know what you want to achieve and why; it’s time to look into the “how.” How will you achieve what it is you are aiming for? How will you reach that goal? What actions do you need to take to hit your target? What is it that needs to change in your daily routine so that each day you take one step forward?
When we allow ourselves some time to answer truthfully to these questions, oftentimes we find areas with room for improvement. That might feel like something negative at first, like a flaw or imperfection. Let’s just embrace it for what it is: an opportunity for improvement and growth, to start doing something in a way that will help us reach our goal faster.
It is usually easier to approach a change when we have a strong motivation that drives us. Perhaps this question will help you with that.
What are the factors between your “here/now” and your “there/success”?
Write down all the steps and actions you must take to bridge that gap, and then ask yourself this question:
What is my success gap doing to me?
In some situations, your success gap may even do something for you, and that can be the reason you’re not taking the right action to grow as a leader. Maybe staying where you are comes with a benefit you are not ready or willing to let go of? Financial security, moral support, a trusted team or simply being comfortable. In that case, it may be good to look a little deeper into the difference of what you want and what you do, until you can align the two and eliminate any possible frustration.
If you want to grow as a leader, both in your personal and professional life, it is crucial that you are true to yourself and make sure that the answer to the second question is about what YOU want and not built-up expectations from those around you.
What do you want? Are you aiming for someone else’s goal? Or trying to fulfill someone else’s dream?
By bringing clarity to exactly what it is you need to do to bridge your success gap and grow as a leader, you’ll find yourself sparked with motivation to get started to get from “here” to “there”!
For more inspiration and wisdom, sign up for A Minute With Maxwell, and let John support you on your leadership journey.
Executive Director and member of the President’s Advisory Council of the John Maxwell Team, Annica Törneryd is also an author and the CEO and founder of ACT2exceed. She works as a coach, speaker and trainer worldwide, based in Luxembourg. She is an experienced facilitator of The Leadership Game and has played it with people from over 50 different countries, helping organizations improve their leadership intelligence, effectiveness and communication.
Over the past 20 years, Annica has been living and working in five different countries on two continents. From her vast experience of working in multicultural environments, she has acquired excellent communication skills. Annica helps her clients get clarity on both purpose and direction, create an applicable action plan, and overcome fears that hold them back from
reaching their full potential.
She is a volunteer mentor at Dress For Success Luxembourg, mentors students in the Young Enterprise Project, and hosted the Women’s Entrepreneurship Day in 2016, celebrating women in leadership positions and raising funds for women in poverty.
“Implementing intentional self-leadership has helped me improve my life multiple times. One of my priorities is selecting mentors with great wisdom, knowledge, and expertise, who support me in reaching my full potential.”