A Leader’s First Responsibility is to Define Reality

April 7, 2015

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I'm Deb- CEO, worldwide executive coach, mentor, consultant and speaker. I'm here to help you take your leadership and impact to the next level!

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The 1990’s produced a whole new genre of television called “reality TV”. Most of us recognize the show Survivor and the concept of being voted off the island for either not measuring up to the challenge or (on the contrary) for measuring up so well that it posed a competitive threat to others.

We joke about reality TV today, yet if the truth be told, it does tend to draw us in when we catch a preview.

Why is that?

It is because reality is an engaging drama. Reality is heroic acts of valor and amazing feats of strength in the face of opposition; and it is also the dark drama of pride and fighting for survival, even if it is at the expense of someone else. Reality reveals weakness…and strengths we didn’t know we had. It elicits the worst behavior, and it also brings out the best in us. It makes us see the challenges, yet prompts us to overcome them. It makes us strong as individuals and dependent on a strong team.

Reality, for all its fanfare, makes us see life’s challenges, develop a strategy, and take action…to win.

So, leaders, let’s get real.

The first job of a leader is to define reality.

This is the baseline. Where are you? Where is your organization? Where are your financials? How are you REALLY doing? What is going well, and what is not working?

Facing reality can be painful, so much so that many choose to ignore it. Yet, facing reality is absolutely essential to being honest with yourself and others in your assessment of where you are.

Now that you know where you are, ask yourself where you would like to be.

What is your dream? What are your goals as an individual? What are your goals for your business and career?

Next, determine your first step.

It is seldom possible to make the jump from where you are to where you want to be in one step. Instead, ask yourself what ONE thing you can do TODAY to start toward ONE goal? This can be a very small step, but it may have more impact than you realize. It provides momentum and allows you to see more clearly the next steps you need to take. It may positively affect other areas as well. As Dave Ramsey has pointed out, very often those who take steps to become debt free also experience career promotions along the way as well; or they find improved physical health as their financial health improves.

The thing about reality is this:

You must define your current reality before you can create a new reality.

Are you, as a leader, being REAL with yourself and your team?