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The Most Important Ability of a Leader

We’ve all been in those end-of-year meetings when the plan for next year is presented to the company: goals, projects, priorities… and if we’re lucky, the why behind the plans are shared too. You know, the real-world problem-solving piece to work that motivates teams to want to create what’s being asked of them. It's easy to create charts that project what's possible when a team is aligned and firing on all cylinders. When the "what we’re going" for is clear and the "how we're going to get there" is laid out.


This is when new benchmarks are established with timelines and target dates. Teams are told they will work together to accomplish these important goals, and if they do, big party, big bonus, big award. I always loved these meetings because I’m a goal-oriented optimist.


A good rah-rah always filled my sails. Any meeting that involves goals, challenges, plans… will motivate me, especially when I get to embark on accomplishing them with other people. And now that I am a CEO, the one leading this all-important annual meeting, I realize that one thing was missing from all those end-of-year company meetings.


Beyond the charts and well-laid plans, there needs to be an unshakable belief from leadership that we can — we can and we will no matter what arises serve our target customers so powerfully that we supercharge the direction of our company and our own personal lives.


There is a powerful and potent energy that comes from a belief as strong as this. A feeling that it’s almost meant to be. That though at the outset the goals may seem like a stretch, even out of reach, the why behind what we’re doing is so strong that we surrender to the how and trust that when we dig deep and bring our best work forward miracles will show up if we need them. Miracles at work? Yes, that's right. I have experienced many. Mostly because I believed they were possible.


We don’t have to understand exactly how we’ll get to our biggest dream or most audacious goal, but we do need to undoubtedly believe that we can. And a leader has to believe it the most. Their conviction has to be so strong that it can be felt in the room, that it brings tears to people’s eyes. When people with a shared belief, a shared mission, a reason for working, people come together with their collective focused energy and create things that have never been created before.


This is the most important ability of any leader: to ignite a will to achieve the impossible through a deep belief that the collective focused energy of a team leads to the delivery of its fullest potential.


Why is belief so crucial? When someone believes, deep down, that what they’re trying to do is achievable, they will continue to go after it even when they meet with failure, roadblocks, naysayers. They will push on, pick themselves up, get more creative, more resourceful, more determined to make it happen. It’s the belief that they can that drives them to produce the best work of their life. Not a well-laid plan.


So yes, “start with why,” run the projections and get everyone pointed in the same direction, but sharing the why with milestones and timelines without deeply communicating the “we can!” won’t get people through the valleys of innovation and supercharged success. Without this inner motivation drive by a knowing that they can, they’ll sit in those valleys, half-heartedly trying, thinking they gave it a good shot. It was a big vision, a tall mountain to climb, and well... we did our best.


A leader must be able to inspire their team to believe that their own abilities are far greater than they have yet experienced. There is another gear deep within that can be accessed, and when it is, they will be able to accomplish what they haven’t yet. They will create something never created before. And revel at their own genius of doing what they did last year twice as fast and at half the price.


This is possible beyond linear leadership. One must move to intrinsic leadership, where the inner self is called forward.


If you are a leader your job is to be a coach. You must remove limiting beliefs and fears of failure. Lead people to recognize their own power and genius. Encourage radical personal responsibility in the most safe space. Translate a feeling of hope, that you can fall, fall and fall again and still make it. Because you can. Each one of us can.


And the best way for a leader to become a coach is to have one. I’m not talking about a coach who helps you communicate better, become more productive, or more likable. I’m talking about a coach who helps you get past your own limited thinking and believe in something greater. Believe that what you don’t see nonetheless exists. That 1+1 doesn’t always equal 2. That there is magic when people come together with a shared direction upon a foundation of belief that they can and will, no matter what, and they'll do it together. And we gain momentum when we align our mission with the energy and belief of our people. This is when miracles can happen, 10x growth when we projected 2x. And if you can tap into the energy of I CAN, even just a little bit, you can motivate others to reach beyond what they thought they could ever achieve. Period.


Collective Gain offers programs and support for the whole company — where the energetic shift is ignited and a new portal of potential is opened. It’s the quickest and most cost-effective way to get your people engaged and believing in the impossible — because when they understand the depths of their own abilities they become empowered to create what was never created. And everyone deserves the experience of being on a winning team, where their contribution mattered... or better said where they mattered.


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Get matched with a coach to experience a new level of leadership within yourself. The most successful leaders rely on something more than what they know. They’re willing and open to exploring something greater, and once they do, they begin to understand that in business, the collective energy of the team as a whole is their most powerful asset. A whole new level of belief shifts the game and that’s when 1+1 = 10.

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I started Collective Gain out of a desire make work better, where being on a magic team was the norm vs. a rare chance occurrence. Through coaching, I discovered deep self-awareness, new perspectives and ways of working that I am passionate about bringing to you.

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