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Positively Speaking: Learn to lead

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By Toby Moore

For Capital Region Independent Media

Toby Moore

Lately, I have been trying to read more. I bought a book I have been told to read many times, but I have never been interested enough until now. Reading it has caused me to have significant reflections on the last few years.

Do you have a dream you want to accomplish? Does it seem too big? Does it seem like maybe if you tried to accomplish it, you would be biting off more than you can chew?

It would be wise for you to examine the conditions before you commit. Look at the market you are trying to enter, give yourself and your abilities an honest assessment, read the necessary materials, and listen to the experts. These will serve as your roadmap that you can navigate to success should you decide to commit.

I never thought the dream I was trying to accomplish was too big, but I heard from my business partner that my dad confessed to him early on that he thought what we were trying to accomplish may not be possible!

One of the chapters in the book discusses that to navigate successfully to your dream, you will need to find a balance between faith with facts! Some people have their heads up in the clouds so high that they never bother to look at the facts.

It is essential to assess the situation and strike a balance. Also, you do not want to be so fact-oriented that you cannot dream and have faith, but knowing the facts of the situation will keep you grounded and let you know if you need to scale it back.

Once you find the balance between faith and facts and decide to keep moving forward, it is important to realize something. It was the biggest realization I have had in a long time, a reality check.

For the last few years, I have worked with a team of people who are all experts in their field to accomplish a big vision. I believe in the dream and what we are doing; I have balanced the faith with the facts, and I was naive enough to think that is all I needed: a great team and a grand vision.

I learned something while reading this book that I should have known, and maybe subconsciously, always have known. Just because you have an excellent vision for the future, a great team, have balanced faith with facts, and are willing to work hard to make your dream a reality does not mean you will get there.

The book I am talking about is “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership” by John C. Maxwell.

In it, I discovered something quite profound. No matter how positive you are, how beautiful your vision is, or how hard of a worker you are, you will never rise higher than your leadership ability.

If your vision is a 10 but your leadership is only a 5, you will only accomplish half of your vision. Wow! If you have a big dream, you would like to accomplish, that should send shivers down your spine.

It is not the size of the vision and the execution of it that will ensure success. It is not your work ethic; it is not your positive attitude. All of these are essential, and combined, these qualities will take you a long way, but one of the determining factors in how far you can advance your vision is your ability to lead!

According to Maxwell, your success will never surpass your leadership ability. Your leadership level is the cap on how high you can take your vision.

That made me nervous to read that; I have never thought of myself as much of a leader.

The book was worrisome in many ways, but also provided strong reassurance.

Maxwell says, “Champions don’t become champions in the ring, they are merely recognized there… If you want to see where someone develops into a champion, look at their daily routine.”

In the same way that investing in the stock market will not make you instantly rich, you can never become a leader in a day. It only happens through consistency, regular learning, practice, and focus. You can learn to lead!

Toby Moore is a columnist, the star of Emmy-nominated “A Separate Peace,” and the CEO of Cubestream Inc.

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