Being poised to lead requires the right attitude, the right judgment, and the right priorities. It is similar to when an athlete runs a race. Recently my husband and I were in Chicago and witnessed the Chicago Marathon. There were huge crowds of people, only a small percentage of which were actually prepared to run a marathon. In a similar fashion there are many leaders in the world but only a few are poised to lead as they enter their day.
The first thing that positions us for leadership is our attitude. This requires us to come into our day thinking about what we want to accomplish and must do by the end of the day. Yes, there will be obstacles, but to lead well you must avoid the emotional drain of focusing on those aspects of your day. Interruptions, challenges and delays will only drain your energy if you allow them to be uppermost in your mind. No one desires to experience these, but they are just a fact that does not merit our attention, nor should we allow them to affect our attitude.
The second thing that positions us for leadership is our judgment. When making decisions it is critical to consider what will have the greatest impact, will provide momentum for our team, and will position us for success. Each decision you make will either prove to be a worthwhile investment or a costly detour. We will not always choose the best course of action, but if we seek input from others, evaluate the benefits, and look for mutual benefit for our stakeholders we will make the best decision possible.
Finally positioning yourself to lead well requires establishing priorities. Priorities help focus our attention on where we want to invest our mind, time and resources. For example, prioritizing who and what we will listen to throughout our day will have tremendous impact on how we lead. There are those who talk about a possible recession, world crisis, and political chaos. While there may be truth in some of these reports, one should discern whether spending hours listening to it will actually help you lead your team. Instead, prioritize information that will inform your decisions or inspire you to take the next step towards a goal.
Ask yourself if you are poised to lead today. Every day provides us with the choice of whether we will lead, or follow the priorities, judgment, and attitudes of those around us.