Are You Preparing To Lead?

Continue Forward Regardless of Speed

Preparing to lead takes years of personal development, career experience, and growth.  But the setbacks we experience frequently have us questioning ourselves.  While the slow movement forward has us sometimes wondering whether the day will ever arrive, or if we should cut our losses now?  On other days, we seemingly move forward as slowly as a tortoise.  Success comes to those who hold the desire by preparing to lead.

Unknown to many is that our subconscious thinking commands our actions. Positive thinking can be the game changer to cross the divide between followers and a leader. Our thoughts affect our self-esteem.  Accordingly, we influence our attitude toward others and theirs toward us.  Our communication begins long before we conduct initial conversations.

Those who do think positively, set the example as they put themselves in the lead. With potential clients in mind, they do more upfront by researching the companies before a conversation occurs, whereas others do not.  They realize that their prospects will also do their research ahead of time. Many are already aware of what we sell and what we represent professionally and personally.  By the time we join a meeting, decisions have the meter leaning toward either a ‘No’or a ‘Yes, let’s do it!’

‘Integrity builds our unique personal brand and develops positive recognition throughout our lifetime.’

Preparing to lead and  stand out from the crowd requires we draw a line in the sand. Early in my career, I recognized the need to openly communicate what I will and will not do for securing business. Due to unspoken subtleties, some decisions were more difficult than others.  Taking responsibility for a misstep is the first step toward leadership.

In the early years of my sales career, the goal was to prove that I can succeed. I refused to allow anyone to stop me. One of the more helpful sales teachings was that of Neuro-Linguistic Programming or NLP.

Listening carefully to what we hear firsthand, and what a person omits from the conversation is very telling. Instead of brushing over the omission(s), asking questions will reveal much. Similarly, observation of body language and facial expressions unleashes more clues that we are to address.

Finally, the tone of voice provides us further instruction on whether or not to continue the conversation or end the meeting. Above all else, communications are to be friendly on all sides. Some people attempt to use guilt to influence a decision on their behalf. This approach is usually short-lived and does not end well.

For a very long time, I did feel as if I were moving slower than a turtle as I was preparing to lead one day.  Over time, the extra effort proves to be well-worthwhile. The more astute I became in observing others, the better my decisions became. Accordingly, the business grew.

‘Let your passion be your guide through the tough times.’

I find that a significant differentiator for those of us who continue is awareness of what initially set us back.


The Want to Lead Strategy:

  • Examine every aspect of the difficulty and how to best proceed in the future
  • Revise goals
  • Ensure all goals are synchronous
  • Confirm the new plan sparks the drive to attain your future vision
  • Create a mental game to compete with yourself and drive further motivation


Review everything in place to ensure all strategies are working harmoniously.

Ultimately, what we create is how others will remember us.  We each have to answer the question, are we motivated enough to want to lead?

If you want to lead, begin the preparation today.  Tomorrow is never the answer.  Should you be early in your career, consider the subject matter and related topics to study and move you up.  And then chart out a course of action for the next twelve months.

1    Request feedback for improvement from peers who are familiar with your work.

2    Use negative commentary as your motivator to launch forward.

As you are planning and preparing to lead, create a mental game for the process. It can be as simple as tallying the number of prospects and clients you call, and the number of affirmative nods for a meeting. Compare daily, weekly, and monthly positive responses. Tweak your approach as you move forward, and similarly monitor the outcome.

  • Are you ready to be known as an influencer on social media?
  • How do you communicate on the different platforms?
  • Is your profile descriptive, and do your actions mirror what it states on the different sites?
  • Are your followings growing, or does your communication style need improvement?


Make the necessary adjustments and monitor the connection numbers. The key differentiator among leaders is to make connections with people whose messaging you care about, can learn from, and who inspire you. If you want to lead, then monitor the results.

Continually revisit why you chose your job or entrepreneurship, whether the passion still holds, and how you can improve your strategies. No matter how slow you or I go, the differentiator is in not giving up.  Instead, use motivation and perseverance to cross the gap to be seen as a leader.


The lyrics to ‘My Way,’by Frank Sinatra, summarize the theme:

“I’ve lived a life that’s full

I’ve traveled each and every highway

And more, much more than this

I did it my way

Regrets, I’ve had a few

But then again, too few to mention

I did what I had to do

And saw it through without exemption

I planned each chartered course

Each careful step along the by-way

And more, much more than this I did it my way.”


Should you hold the desire and are preparing to lead, focus on the ultimate goal, that you were able to do it your way!