Leadership Skills: Applying Lessons Learned

Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes in to us at midnight very clean. It’s perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands, and hopes we’ve learned something from yesterday. – John Wayne


How many times have we all been discouraged by the events of one particular day and considered that day a wasted block of time? So many times the weight of perceived failure blocks the vision of opportunities to see the good side of anything and to be able to observe what really happened.

Trapped in an expectation mindset often blocks the opportunity to be objective. When failure is the mindset, then that mindset drives toward more failure if the leader is not aware of the dynamic of the Law of Attraction. So many leadership  writers position an entire theory around that law as an authority on attracting wealth and prosperity. In reality, we attract what we think about and our thought gives energy to results. For example thinking of debt attracts debt. Thinking of failure results in failure. When I worked as a conductor and performer, I had to learn to manage my anxiety. Initially, I was paralyzed by the fear of making mistakes. I was afraid that I would lose my place, forget the notes, or lose control of the orchestra or choir – and I manifested that result simply by thinking about it.

In order to be a successful performer, I had to learn to manage that fear of failure. Once I discovered that the adrenaline rush provided extra abilities to hear and think, then I reversed my response from fear to empowerment. An added value that came along with the success was my higher level of personal satisfaction and enjoyment during the event. I didn’t realize it, but the intense attention to the potential of failure blocked me from being present in the moment and enjoying the experience fully. This was a huge learning experience for me that released my potential.

Applying this line of thinking to nonmusical leadership is easy. Our mental blocks keep us bound. James Allen wrote, “Men are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves; they therefore remain bound.” Improving our results depends on improving ourselves. Top leaders constantly work on improving their skills. A major part of improving performance depends on self awareness.

Being aware is not an easy task. One way to focus our thoughts on improvement in performance and to heighten self awareness, is to evaluate our performance at the end of each work day. Reflect on the activities of the day. Make note of what went well, what needs changing, and new things to consider. Reflecting on today provides learning opportunities, and opportunity to reframe our thinking and to reset for the next day.

Each new day is a new opportunity for higher performance. Each new day is a chance to do a better job of being a high-functioning leader.

By the way, there’s no straight line to success. Some days are better than others. Take the long view. Learn from each day and learn to discipline your disappointment.

Hugh Ballou

The Transformational Leadership Strategist TM

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  • Ronald M. Kyamagero

    Love these articles!