We live in a society where excuses are becoming all too common: I missed my flight. My computer kicked the bucket. I wasn’t supplied with the data I needed to finish the report. Making excuses is a self-subverting practice that prevents us from satisfying our latent capacity. Your entrepreneurial success depends on you overcoming these excuses.
“When you’re good at making excuses, it’s hard to excel at anything else.” — John L. Mason
It’s anything but difficult to spot a peer, friend, or boss concocting a rationalization, yet when we’re the one clarifying what occurred, it regularly feels more legitimate. We justify them when we don’t discover the solidarity to act by our aspirations and dreams. In essence, were are stuck in a self-created comfort box filled with security and comfort instead of personal responsibility and being true to ourselves.
Vindicating staying in that box is the absolute opposite of individual responsibility. And, the best leaders get that and that is why they achieve entrepreneurial success.
Most of us have worked for a company or establishment led by a transformational leader — someone who could rally the organization around nearly any idea or initiative through their inspiring direction. No matter the obstacle or doubts, these power-leaders have an unbreakable optimism that ensures they realize their dreams.
What is the key that unlocks this power to lead and inspire others? Some may chalk their abilities up to luck — an extra shot of charisma or a personality trait that works in today’s market. Others may point to a history of education, experience, and success that gives leaders their inspirational personality.
However, based on my experience, I believe what truly creates and unleashes passion-struck leadership potential in today’s competitive market is self-identity.
It is the confidence of knowing that no matter what may happen today, an unbreakable set of values, self-worth, and personal responsibility guides the way to success and achievement. When you know your self-identity, the excuses and reasons why things “can’t” be done seem to fall away. What is left is a leader that the world wants to follow into the future.
Identity: Unlocking Your Leadership Potential
The world is continually evolving. The future calls for leaders to arise and lead the way in this new unknown, and the following question is being continuously asked of Future Leaders:
Who are you?
Identity is found all around you each day. From the scroll of a social media channel to a conversation with a loved one, nearly every medium you engage with is working to develop and define your identity. The key is not knowing if your self-identity is being created, but by whom or what is it being influenced by.
Your self-identity operates as a guiding compass or North Star — setting parameters and defining expectations for how you will interact and engage with the world around you. Every decision you make and action you take is prepared behind the scenes by your identity. As you can imagine, being a leader with a strong and stable self-identity is vital to ensuring that your voice has a seat at the table in where the world is moving.
The Risk Of Allowing Others to Define Your Entrepreneurial Success
If the concept of self-identity is novel to you, that does not mean that you lack an identity. It is more likely that outside sources have been in the driver’s seat to create and define your identity for you.
“I am not what I think I am, and I am not what you think I am. I am what I think you think I am.”
― Charles Horton Cooley
Need proof? Consider your core values, your personal mission, or your goals. When you look over those personal guiding principles, whose voice do you hear in your mind?
While borrowing the insights and leadership qualities of other industry leaders is a great way to grow and develop your leadership skills, allowing another individual, organization, or media sources to define your goals and aspirations is a surefire sign that your self-identity is being crafted and curated by someone other than yourself.
It is vital to achieving entrepreneurial success that you take control of your identity and not permit another person or faction define it for you. This will only limit your potential as a Future Leader. What the world needs is not another version of a worn-out idea, concept or scheme.
What will turn the cogs in the wheel of future leaders are the unique experiences, passions, and convictions that define you as an individual. Those that you lead every day — friends, family, team members, other leaders — are all looking to you to boldly move forward into the unknown with unyielding confidence built upon a strong self-identity.
Take Back The Reins & Define Your Self-Identity
As a future leader in today’s all-digital hyper-competitive market and culture, the most crucial step you can take is to take back the reins of self-identity from those who have hijacked your ability to write your own destiny.
You can begin the entrepreneurial success journey to rewrite and define your self-identity by completing a self-audit of every person, media source, and content you consume each day.
Much like tracking your calories for a physical diet, you will be shocked to discover who and what is defining your self-identity for you each day. When you discover the identity sources that don’t match your goals, expectations, or conviction, tear them out and ruthlessly throw them away. Only when you do away with those elements that are fighting for control of your identity can you take control back and drive your development as a future leader.
Once you have cleaned house, start doing the hard work of replacing those identity-killers with people and content that you trust to lead you well in the defining of your unique self-identity. Collect, analyze, and adopt the concepts and ideas that align with your identity, but don’t allow them to define you.
“Growth is uncomfortable; it can encourage us to make excuses, point fingers, and blame,” says Eric Kapitulik.
Instead, like a bodybuilder or long-distance runner, take steps every day to build your skills and push through difficulties to develop a sense of unbreakable determination. Over time, you will begin to see your unique identity emerge like a butterfly breaking free from the cocoon — shedding the old and reveling in the new.
The world is hungry for real, authentic, and confident Future Leaders. Are you taking steps to make sure that your future entrepreneurial success is ready for your potential?