Who do you turn to when you need encouragement? What about when you need inspiration? How about when you want sound advice or a partner to motivate you?
Now I know these are not easy questions to answer, especially if your response does not include your spouse or best friend. But we all need encouragement, and sometimes we are not sure where to turn for support.
One of my favorite activities is mentoring emerging leaders. While I know some leaders find it either difficult or exhausting to support young leaders; the opportunity energizes me.
I recently reconnected with a young leader I had mentored since they were in high school. When we spoke, I was excited to learn about his leadership growth. Since we last spoke, he has relocated and was recently promoted.
During our conversation, I could tell there was another reason for his call. So, after several minutes of small talk, I gently shifted the conversation to determine the real purpose of the call. I realized although he was moving forward in his career, he was concerned with his new role as a leader.
After several coaching questions, my mentee shared his concerns. But, as he embarked on his transition, he sought validation that he could be a good leader. So, after several more questions, I congratulated him on his new responsibilities and recommended several books to read and individuals to follow.
Like my mentee, many emerging leaders want and need validation and wise counsel as they navigate their careers and life. So where can they turn for good advice?
Recently, I hosted my annual Maxwell Leadership Conference, and one of the speakers was Dr. Eric Thomas. Now you may or may not have heard of Eric Thomas, but he is one the premiere motivational speakers in the nation.
In his New Your Times best-seller book “You Owe You,” Thomas shares his journey from “GED to Ph.D.,” from being homeless and eating out of trash cans to earning his doctoral degree and becoming one of the most sought-after motivational speakers.
Thomas shares his story to inspire young people to find their power, purpose, and why. While you may not have a physical mentor, you can find support, encouragement, and wise counsel from individuals who understand what it takes to be successful.
As a leader, Thomas reminds us that we owe it to ourselves to become the best leaders we can be. Why? Because somebody is counting on us as leaders to step up to inspire, encourage, and motivate them.
So how can you become the best leader you can be? Thomas offers three keys:
- A Powerful Why – Your Why will attract people to follow you
- Effective Communication – Great leaders are great communicators
- Strong Values – Know your values and what behaviors are non-negotiable no matter the circumstances or situation
Leaders who possess these three keys will be on the road to success.
As I wrapped up my conversation with my mentee, I reminded him that leadership is a privilege. Therefore, leaders must continue to sharpen their skills.
“The only way to get out of mediocrity is to keep shooting for excellence.”-Dr. Eric Thomas
Are you an encouraging, inspiring, and motivating leader?
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