One of the primary purposes of leadership conferences and classes is to inspire people to get their leadership in gear. This initiative is obviously close to my heart and one that makes a dramatic impact. As we motivate and inspire conference participants or leadership students to make a difference, there are four key questions we need to help them with. Their answers to these questions and our sage advice on how to answer them provides the foundation and fuel needed to get their leadership in gear.
Four Questions to get in G.E.A.R.
(And a few key anchor words...)
Grounded - Why are you here?
This question is not about why they are at the conference or in the class (although that is important). It is about why they are anywhere. What is your purpose in life? Leaders who understand, are deeply connected with and stay grounded to their core purpose are more likely to get and stay in gear. This purpose must align with your deepest values and beliefs. Why are you here? The answer to this question gives life meaning.
Engaged - What do you create?
Highly effective leaders are results-oriented. They are greatly concerned with making things happen, creating change and leaving everywhere they go and everyone they connect with a little better than they found them. They are excellent at creating cool, interesting and meaningful stuff; which in turn attracts people with those same qualities. What do you create? The answer to this question gives life direction.
Authentic - Who are you?
Self-awareness is critical to good leadership. You must understand your strengths, weaknesses, talents and skills before you can fully lead. Highly effective leaders are so true to who they are, their "leaderly" actions become second nature. This allows them to genuinely place their time and attention on others. People are starving for leaders who are authentic, bold and caring. Who are you? The answer to this question gives life clarity.
Relationship-focused - Who is on your team?
Life and leadership are team sports. Engaged leaders have identified, understand the importance of and spend time cultivating the relationships in their life. This includes people following them and people they follow. They put relationships first and results second. Who is on your team? Answering this question gives life joy.
If you are a leadership teacher, trainer or conference organizer, invest time examining your curriculum, material and speakers and make sure these four critical questions are addressed.
Step one is to know your personal answer to each. Here are mine:
1. Why are you here?
To bring glory to God through my relationships and my leadership teachings.
2. What do you create?
Personally, I create harmony and security for my wife and daughters. Professionally, I create a tribe of inspired and motivated students, educators and professionals armed with better tools for getting their leadership in gear.
3. Who are you?
I am a Christian, American, husband, father, speaker, author, blogger, singer-songwriter and epic fajita artist. I am more than what I do though. I am what I believe, who I spend my time with, what I read/watch/listen to and what I think. I work hard to align all of those elements with my answers to #1 and #2.
4. Who is on your team?
My most important team mates are Jesus Christ, my wife Ashley, and my daughters Vivian and Addison (and soon-to-be Emerlyn Kate :). Ashley and I's immediate family, friends, peers, church family and long-time clients also play a vital role on my team. All my audience members, clients, and suppliers comprise the rest of my team. They are all a joy to work with and make my team exciting, colorful and ever expanding.
How about you?
- Posted from Rhett's iPhone on tour in San Diego.
“I have known Rhett for close to eight years. He is an inspiration to me and thousands of other student leaders from across the nation. Without Rhett’s leadership and advice I would not be the person that I am today. Leaders in Gear is the perfect reference guide if you want to remarkably improve your speaking and presentation skills. I would recommend this book to anyone trying to become a better leader!”
Christopher J. Cavin
President, Oklahoma Student Government Association