Back in the day, Australian rules football legend Ron Barassi addressed the junior team I was playing with. “When you run out on the ground on Saturday you should look like a footballer,” he said. “Make sure your clothes are clean and your socks are pulled up. Even if you are not a great player, you should look like a footballer,” he told us.
You don’t have to be an Aussie rules football fan to understand that he was urging us to show up as though we mean business. It is the same in our careers. We need to show up as leaders, before we get the title. Dan is a good example of someone who put his hand up for tough assignments early in his career. He had compelling views about business improvements, potential savings and growth opportunities. His suggestions were invariably adopted and he was asked to lead many of the initiatives. He built a personal brand as a game-changing leader which accelerated his career trajectory into senior leadership roles in Australia and globally. Dan’s zest for experimentation continues in his current portfolio career.
A common denominator with people like Dan is that they show up with a view about the future. Bill Taylor, author of Simply Brilliant, describes four categories of mindset of leaders who are focused on the future. Here is a brief extract of his explanation of each category.
The Learning Zealot
Creative leaders are always asking themselves, “Am I learning as fast as the world is changing?”
The Personal Disruptor
You can’t invent the future if you cling to out-of-date ideas, even if they’ve worked in the past.
The Tough-Minded Optimist
You can’t invent a prosperous future for your company unless you are excited about what the future holds.
The Eager Experimenter
Leaders who are fit for the future support lots of ideas, knowing that most of them won’t deliver as planned, to discover the few that will deliver bigger than anyone imagined.
You can take a simple online quiz to find out which category best describes you.
Are you showing up as a leader with a view about the future?
Best regards, Brian