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5 Things We Can Do to Prepare to Lead with Brilliance (by Maria R. Nebres, article issue: November 13, 2019)

5 Things We Can Do to Prepare to Lead with Brilliance (by Maria R. Nebres, article issue: November 13, 2019)

This is me, in one of my “behind the scenes” moments, as I showed up recently in Gatineau, Ottawa, to join a line up of fabulous Expert Speakers. I shared my message that “True Leadership is all about Love”. When I look back at this moment, I recall the many times (like this one!) I have felt and learned from being nervous, feeling unprepared, ill-equipped, sometimes wishing to give up, changing my mind, and at times plowing ahead anyway.


Having been in leadership roles (in work and life!), having worked with leaders and their teams for some time, I've learned these feelings are natural. I’ve experienced and witnessed that even the most successful and effective leaders have moments of insecurity and doubt. When left unattended, these insecurities and doubts can all too often compromise quality results. I’ve realized that If you never took time to reflect on your ability to lead, you would never experience growth. To grow, is to LOVE. And to LOVE is True Leadership.


There is more to leadership than just making decisions. The best leaders ask questions, reflect, revise, for the sake of progress and serving a greater good, larger than themselves. As leaders, we carry the weight and responsibility of leading our relationships. However, we are still human, always growing and learning if we choose it. We are brilliantly flawed, and we make mistakes – gifts in lessons we can learn from. Learning and acting from that learning are key.


Often, the moments in which we question our abilities seep out of these inevitable hiccups and opportunities for revisions, leading us to our next step for our brilliance, by choice. So, amid these moments, what are we to do? How can we handle that self-doubt, feeling nervous and unprepared?

I believe the key to overcoming doubt and hesitation is preparation with focus on LOVE. In this way, you can move forward, because LOVE is the path to engaging for clear purpose, focus and action. Preparation can look like many different things. Sometimes it means making a plan; other times it means practicing – giving it another go, with lessons learned, incorporated into refining your “next” actions - or simply breathing to reflect, introspect and recollect. If you can practice leading with love in your personal life, you will be guaranteed success in your professional life.


Here are five things I believe we can do to prepare to lead with brilliance, from LOVE.


1. Know and LOVE yourself.
It all starts with YOU. You will find it impossible to lead to the best of your ability if you do not know yourself and understand where love fits for you. I’m talking about the purest sense of love – the kind of BEING generous at great cost, sticking with something that doesn’t work right away, being aware of oneself, of not only realizing how to survive the fear of failure or rejection but embracing and learning from it. The most important relationship we’ll ever have in life is with our SELF. And from this, next is our relationships with others.


Discover your true identity. Leadership is about more than just saying the right things; it is about being anchored in LOVE, which naturally unleashes being genuine and honest. The best leaders are aware of their strengths as well as their areas for improvements. When you know yourself, you can leverage your gifts and talents, and better manage your improvement areas (those shortcomings that you will seize for your progress momentum) – and then extend your brilliance with and to others, modelling from this and acting in servitude.


2. Invest in yourself.
Now that you know yourself, you must invest in yourself. I’ve learned that investing in ongoing personal leadership development not only helps in the moment, but that it also prepares you for what comes next. An investment in yourself is a commitment to the future and in long-term success, which really is all about transformation.


3. Lead with LOVE.
Who or what leads your life? Where are you within this? Are your emotions rooted from love, or “something else” (e.g., fear of scarcity, being judged, hurts, etc.). Do you make decisions with care and clear purpose (from love) or are you constantly putting out fires? The driving force behind your decisions is an indicator of what is leading your life. When you lead yourself, you make decisions, set objectives, and operate with an understanding of the big picture. When you lead yourself, you do not operate out of panic or emotional-based reactions. Lead yourself first and you will see that next follows your relationships with others, leading with better ease, joy, connection and harmony.


4. Savour Private Victories - Big and Small
As you lead yourself, you will naturally want to set targets, goals and objectives. Make sure you commit to seeing these through. Experience personal wins! Reflect and savour every victory (big and small) leading you toward success. Victory from within always precedes external (public) victory/success. There is a lot of work that needs to be done behind the scenes before you can lead others. Give yourself a chance to get that work done and experience your victories from within.


5. Model Love in Your Relationships.
This one is huge. Your loved ones are your greatest responsibility and your highest priority. If you cannot lead your loved ones, you will be unable to lead anyone else. Your family also knows you extremely well; they know the good, the bad, and the ugly. If you can inspire trust and respect from the people who know you that well, you can earn the trust of just about anyone.


Preparation is the best way to manage fear and doubt. You cannot predict the future, but you can prepare for it. Spend some time developing as a leader. There is always room to grow. Remember, you don’t need to change everything today, nor do you need to over-prepare to the point of intertia! Sometimes it's about accepting where you are and being kind to yourself; sometimes, it's that you just need to be a little bit better than you were yesterday, your choice. You’ve got this. And let's not forget our role in leadership is encouraging, supporting others for their way through love also.

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Much love and success to you, always! Maria