A Cup of Leadership CaffeineYou’re good, but do you have it in you to be great?

I work with a lot of good professionals. These are smart people, all technically adept at their jobs and committed to working hard for their organizations.

Only a few of these good individuals push themselves to become great.

These are the driven ones. Driven to learn, driven to push themselves, comfortable with trying and failing and well aware that there is a pearl of wisdom underneath a nugget of gold in every situation.  They are looking and digging and diving for those pearls and nuggets.

They’re in competition, but it’s not versus an external adversary. They are in competition with themselves. With resistance. With the temptation to take the easy route and be “just good enough.”

I love working with these leaders. They are challenging and they are open to challenge. They’ve long since recognized the need to reflect and to gain feedback on their performance at every opportunity.  They are relentless in pursuit of their own improvement.

I also recognize that not everyone is driven. That’s OK. Just make certain if you fit into this category to brush up on your follower skills. At least strive to be a great follower.

For those that sense that there’s more in you…that you want to leave it all out there on the field, perhaps you’ll see yourself here, or, perhaps something here will kindle your flames of self-improvement.

6 Signs that You Are Driven to Pursue Your Potential:

1. You’re comfortable revisiting the basics of your profession. If it’s leadership, you understand the need to revisit the purpose of your role and to continually strive to improve as a coach, as a mentor, a motivator and as a decision-maker.

2. You work hard to manage your own brand. While this sounds self-centered, it’s actually socially intelligent. You recognize that your professional value proposition…the famous “Brand Called You” is all that you have and you work hard to see if the value proposition in your mind matches what others see in you.

3. You are genuinely interested in what others have to say. This natural tendency to seek the other person’s point of view is more of that social intelligence and part of what makes you an authentic professional.

4. You are genuine. Your internal values and principles match your external persona. You’re in balance. A quote that I read somewhere offered this as “you believe what you say and you say what you believe.”

5. You view power as the means to right kind of more. Not more money or fame, but rather the ability to produce more, to contribute more, to create more, to help more.

6. You recognize that success comes in many forms, but the best form is that internal sense of “I gave my best, there was nothing more.”  Of course, you always wonder whether there was just a little bit more in you to give.

The Bottom-Line for Now:

The life of a driven leader or a driven professional is filled with struggle and joy. Ironically, the joy is truly in the struggle. You just don’t figure that out until much later.