Practice What You Preach
Putting Leadership Skills into Practice
My peers say I talk a lot about leadership theory, but my response is always the same: it’s not theory when it’s put into practice – it’s experience. Every topic in my blog and on the Press Start website I chose not because I believe it works, but because I know it works. I’ve put these theories into practice time and time again and I’ve seen the results. It’s not just theoretical.
There’s a common conception when it comes to leadership: too many “leaders” talk the talk, but don’t walk the walk. Unfortunately, it’s often true. They may read book after book about leadership, but don’t put what they learn into action. This is common, and often stems from something called analysis paralysis – being so overwhelmed by your options that you don’t end up making a choice.
Too often, leaders spend hour upon hour reading books, listening to podcasts, and going to seminars, but do nothing with the knowledge they’ve gained. Sitting around talking doesn’t work if none of the knowledge is utilized. While I love philosophy, it was the desire to put my knowledge into action and improve myself that drove me to become a leader.
One of my all-time favorite quotes is from Gary Vaynerchuk, a famous entrepreneur and author. He plainly states, “Ideas are shit, execution is the game,” and I believe he’s right. Only by putting things into practice do you get results. You have to apply what you learn, realize you might not get it right the first time, and try again until you get it right. The best leaders are constantly learning and putting what they learned into action. They execute.
So, I ask you, what is holding you back from executing? Fear? Fear of failure? Fear there won’t be a chance to improve?
Sure, some things are like a blueprint – they work if you follow the steps like a recipe. In other cases, the intricacies of human behavior indicate that we must adjust the recipe for people’s tastes. Don’t let one failed attempt prevent you from improving your process. Leadership takes consistency and refinement just like anything else. If you put in the work to constantly improve, you improve as a leader.
1UP: Take something you learned and put it into practice today. If it works, discuss it with your team. Why did it work? How can it be better? If it didn’t work, why? How can it be better?
Want me to help walk you through the process? Check out my 1-on-1 Leadership Coaching Packages