Skill 1 – Part C: Story of Impact

David often allowed  me the privilege of being his coach. David is a learner. He was one of my few role models in my career. David would apply himself to learn each and every process that was performed by the people who were supported by his team. By the time I reported to David directly, he had become accountable for an even more broad representation of financial processes. It was not possible to now know “everything.” That didn’t stop David from trying.

David’s effort to learn it all began to create significant stress for him. Part of my coaching effort was to assist him in seeing how his learning accountability had moved upward with his position accountability. David had always taken care of people the best he could through being involved with the processes they performed. Now he had to question his approach and determine if he must now serve the processes through the people he now led.

Like David, there comes a time for every leader when one must face what it means to un-learn. The call to un-learn some process, approach, or way of thinking can be a source of significant stress for the individual leader. The ever-evolving 21st Century information landscape requires the leader to become skilled at deconstructing certain learning in order to see knowledge in a new light. Individual accountability then expands to include the task of reconstructing knowledge to move forward those being led, influenced, and served.

“Pick your own measures that have meaning, and recognize that results may not be the point of it all. The integrity and whole-heartedness of your actions may be the final measure. What we call ‘results’ may simply be moving outcomes that pass in front of us.”  –Peter Block

Society’s opinion toward results and outcomes is evolving in the 21st Century to an approach that calls on a balance of the internal and the external – a call to use all the creativity at one’s disposal based on who we are as an individual.

As a present, 21st Century leader, you allow transformation in your belief system. With present engagement, the power of your attention is focused on the real target and what is most important in reaching that target. The impact of your leadership is evidence of who you are. Your work has taken on an artistic flow as you have allowed your work to become a sustainable expression of self.

Leaders anticipate impact. Imagine standing with your feet firmly planted shoulder-width apart as you stretch your arms out on each side, fingers extended as far as you can reach. This is your impact illustrated from the internal to the external.

This is the story of your impact, your reach as intent flows up from your core through your extended limbs fueled by commitment.

For more like this and the developing series around the 7 skills, see: 21st Century Leadership Skills

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