I found a story on American Public Media’s Marketplace fascinating. The interview discussed a recent paper by researchers at Stanford and Harvard that reveal that employers are more interested in what you may accomplish that what you already have. Essentially, people want to believe in the promise of what someone has to offer more than they are convinced by the power of what they have already done.
This is a fundamental concept I have been teaching for the past two decades of my leadership work—what we believe we can create, we will.
George Stephanopoulos hadn’t hosted a Sunday news program until he did it, no man (for the moment) has served as president until he starts the job, as is true for everyone—you haven’t done it until you have done it. So the belief that you aren’t capable of doing a job just because you don’t have prior experience turns out to not only be a self-defeating belief, it is the one that will stop potential employers from seeing your promise and hiring you!
Too many people fall into the trap of thinking they are only as good as their previous experiences and if that were true how would anyone do anything new or different?
Living the leadership choice is how I teach people to see their talents, skills and passion in a way that allows them to live into their full potential, to move toward fresh experiences and to climb to new heights. They are successful not because they have already done exactly what they aspire to do, rather because the combination of accumulated expertise combined with their passion for doing something innovative makes them uniquely qualified to do it. The key to success is seeing who you truly are and effectively communicating it to others—so that they can see it in you and provide you the opportunity and support to make it a reality.
Leadership is not about becoming something you are not—it is about being the best of who you are already. It doesn’t matter if you are unemployed, a recent graduate or a seasoned professional yearning for fresh challenges, the key to creating what you want is to believe that you can and to demonstrate it by owning the qualities you already possess. It is this formula that makes success not only probable, but also possible.
Being yourself and expressing to others what you want to do is the only way to make lead the life you want to live. Being a leader in your life is giving yourself the opportunity to dream it and then taking action to make it a reality.