7 Steps to Transform your career and realize​ your leadership potential

Chapter 1. The Leadership Switch

Satish Shenoy
Author, Runaway Growth

Section A: Becoming a Leader

Unlock! is about discovering yourself, tapping into your vast leadership potential, and creating meaning for the world.

People have amazing skills and virtually unlimited potential. But if you look closely at their career graph, there is usually a gap between its trajectory and their abilities. They are not engaged at work despite their ability to deliver high performance. This situation is clearly a disconnect between potential and performance.

This disconnect occurs because most of us have not made the “leadership switch,” turning on that invisible switch that transforms us from merely working to leading successfully.

Unlock! is about leading yourself and others to create value and meaning in the world of business and technology.

Unlock! is a set of seven steps that help you dig deeper and bring forth the successful leader you have the true potential to become. These steps are grouped together in four distinct phases of the 7 Step Process. Here is a quick view of the four phases; don’t worry we will go through each one of these together.

It is time to turn on the leadership switch. It is time to learn the steps, tools, and activities that will transform your career and help you realize your leadership potential. Let’s start.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Americans spend eight hours and forty minutes on work- and work-related activities on a daily basis. This amount of time is more than time spent on any other activity including sleeping which is a little over seven hours on average.

Despite spending most of their time at work, Americans are disengaged while there. In fact, according to Gallup, about two-thirds (66 percent) of people in corporate America are not engaged.

That’s interesting, isn’t it? Most of us are disengaged from the activity we do the most. Every. Single. Day. This disengagement results in a career trajectory that is mediocre at best.

It’s like investing all of your waking hours on diet and exercise but still becoming more overweight. How counter-intuitive!

That being said, each of us works hard. We have career aspirations. We absolutely intend to do better in our careers and create value for the world around us.

Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to listen to people’s career aspirations very closely. Usually, these career aspirations fit into ten categories. I am sure you will identify with one or more of these.

  1. How can I become a successful leader, even if I’m stuck right now?
  2. I want my career to be a rocket ship, but I don’t have access to the right tools, guidance, or support to make that happen.
  3. I want to take my job performance to the next level and get promoted to a role with more responsibilities.
  4. I’d like to identify the latest market trends and ride those trends to better my career.
  5. I want to build a personal brand and get known in my domain area/community.
  6. I’m caught in an analysis-paralysis trap and can’t figure out the way forward in my career.
  7. I’ve been doing the same thing for many years, and I can’t see myself getting out of this stagnation situation.
  8. I want to reinvent myself, learn new things, and build a new personal brand.
  9. I’m seeing people less qualified and less smart than I am getting ahead; I want to figure out how to become successful in my work.
  10. I want to figure out how to build a great professional network that will help me in the future.

As you read this, I am sure you can feel their importance and urgency. You can feel the yearning to break free of these problems, and the genuine desire to build a better career path.

If only they could Unlock! themselves.

There is absolutely a better career path for each of us.

And that path is the way of the leader.

Every single one of us has the potential to be a leader. Yes, we might not realize it, but all of us are destined to be leaders. A leader is anyone who moves others, influences others, drives others towards higher achievement.

See, leadership is not a title; leadership is action. One can be a leader in any particular dimension, leader of a: particular topic, particular subject, process, domain, function, organization, group, or tribe.

Becoming a leader in any of these dimensions creates career growth opportunities. It helps us to take the initiative and become accountable. It enables us to act as an owner rather than a “resource.” It enables us to drive toward results and achieve goals. These achievements are not only for us as individuals but for the team, our organizations, and our communities.

Demonstrating leadership drives career growth. Yes, it is really that simple. Successful leadership is the journey and the destination.

However, most people are not able to demonstrate leadership and become successful leaders. It requires us to make the “leadership switch,” turning on that invisible switch that moves us from merely working to leading successfully.

Unlock! gives you seven specific steps you can use to turn on that leadership switch. These steps help you to unlock your potential to become a successful leader.

By the time you complete Unlock’s 7 Step Process, you will be able to unlock your potential and turn on the switch.

It is simple but not easy. It requires changing your mindset. It requires us to develop new capabilities that require personal investments. It is absolutely doable. The journey is exciting; there is never a dull moment. Guaranteed.

Turning on this “switch” unlocks your leadership potential to change your immediate future, and assists you for the rest of your life, professionally and personally. It is like learning to ride a bicycle. Or learning how to swim. Once you learn it, you will always carry it with you.

Ready? Excited? Let’s jump in.

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