When offered the prospect to succeed, it is not uncommon for nearly all entrepreneurs to accept the challenge and opportunity of becoming successful. However, once people have reached the destination they have dreamed about when it comes to their career, they often forget to embody being an agent of change in their new leadership position that they lose sight of what truly matters –the people under their command.
Although those who achieve their long-term goals often do so by embracing their passion and working hard throughout their career, for the authentic agent of change leaders, it is not the end result that is meaningful, but rather what they do with their leadership role in the years that follow.
For retired U.S. Navy Master Chief Tuck Williams, realigning his identity to becoming a goal-oriented person allowed him to embrace what it means to be a true leader. For Tuck Williams, this meant putting sailors’ well-being under his command before his own.
Tuck Williams reveals the importance of becoming an agent for change on his passion-struck journey of becoming a true leader in my conversation with him on the Passion Struck™ podcast.
Passion-Struck Leadership Begins With Becoming an Agent of Change
For entrepreneurs to fully embody the meaning of leadership, they must first align their goals to harmonize the collective well-being of their entire company.
To lead others triumphantly while living in the focus of the bigger picture that lays ahead, entrepreneurs must embody a “Eyes On; Hands Off” leadership habit comparable to that of the humble gardener. Using this style of influence allows you to focus your attention on tending your garden: your number one priority. By exercising a “gardener leader” mindset, you can plant, harvest, and above all, tend. When required, you can ensure your plants are fertilized, watered and that their beds are free of weeds.
Tuck Williams reflects on the moment when he knew he had to alter his goals to embrace authentic agent of change leadership:
“I developed short-term goals…when I made Chief, I developed a situation where it wasn’t about me anymore…I developed a fear of failure. I’ve suddenly got a division of 30 people, that’s 60 parents, and they trust me with their sons and daughters, and I need to make sure they’re trained to do their job, or they’re prepared to go to war.”
Although Tuck’s incredible story of being in the Navy is not one that many of us will get to experience for ourselves, the underlying message of being a passion-struck leader remains the same. Regardless of your profession, you have to be an agent for change in the lives of those you now lead.
Tuck reveals the moment he realized how he was going to be successful as Chief:
“If you want to be successful, not only do you have to have a personal drive to get out there…you also have to take a pause and say Hey, you know what, I’ve got to be a change agent. I’ve got to accept it, and I just have to use it to my benefit.”
Focus On the Short-Term Rather than The Long-Term
As agent of change leaders, it’s easy to fall into old patterns of prioritizing a list filled with calls to action that we feel we need to fulfill to be prosperous. However, what many fail to realize is that you are already successful. When we fail to align our inputs to our main focus of achievement, it is easy to become distracted by initiatives that do not align with what is essential. Therefore, leaders must remember to stay focused on the result and nurture initiatives that benefit their primary focus rather than take away from it.
Tuck reveals that to be a real passion-struck leader, you must:
“focus on keeping the main thing, the main thing…if you overload people, they’re going to walk out of there not really knowing what you want them to go after.”
To be an agent for change, you must then ensure that your team is fully confident in your direction and expected to be successful.
The Three Keys That Embody Agent of Change Leadership
Do you think you have what it takes to be a passion-struck leader? To answer this question, Tuck states that you must first be prepared for the unexpected to happen. To be equipped, you must ensure your team is trained correctly. You have thought over every possibility that may occur in the present and in the future that could set you off course.
Another important aspect of being a passion-struck leader is owning it. Every last bit of it:
And what’s the final point?
Mast Chief Tuck William’s say’s it’s simple, to treat everyone with dignity and respect:
“It costs nothing to be kind to everyone. And I promise you that if you just go through life, treating everyone with dignity and respect, and taking the high road…you will be a lot happier. You and the folks around you –you’re going to be a lot more successful.”