Are you diving when you see the rocks?

La Quebrada Cliffs – Acapulco Tradicional – Tourism Media

Cliff diving is dangerous enough but diving when you see rocks seems like a crazy thing to do. The cliff divers at La Quebrada Cliffs in Acapulco, dive 41 metres into a narrow rocky inlet where the waves swell to a depth of only 4.5 metres for about 5 seconds. It takes the divers about 3 seconds to reach the water, leaving little room for error.They dive when they see rocks knowing that the water will wash in during the time it takes them to descend. If they dive when the water is at its peak, it will sweep out again while they are on the way down and they will hit the rocks instead of the water.

Game-changing leaders dive when they see rocks. When you make a stretch commitment you will probably encounter plenty of objections, resistance and excuses. But like the cliff divers you commit to the objective anyway. You know that if you wait until it appears fully achievable, you may miss the opportunity. You will only produce predictable results that way. There is nothing wrong with that, but game-changing leaders are interested in results that are not predictable. They know that it takes committing first; when they see the rocks.

Setting yourself a stretch objective is not an alien concept. Those of us who have moved countries, taken on a big new role or become a parent know the power of committing first.

A stretch objective will take you outside your comfort zone and require you to find a new level in your leadership. For that reason, it needs to be something you are passionate about. I am sure you have experienced that moment after you set a stretch objective when you wonder what possessed me to say I would do this. If you reconnect with your passion for the topic you will keep going. If you are not inspired, then you will probably procrastinate or resent doing it.

Zenger Folkman’s research based on 360-degree evaluations of 20,000 individuals suggests that “establishing stretch goals” is one of the key competencies of extraordinary leaders. It is an important component of what distinguishes extraordinary leaders from good leaders.

Are you diving when you see the rocks?

Best regards, Brian
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