In order to make the intangibility of hopes and dreams into tangible plans and goals, one must first determine how that transition is made. This requires being Realistic, the 3nd element of SurTHRIVELeadership.
A realist knows the extent of their abilities and is well aware of every resource at their disposal. In an organization, they see the small, concrete functions of their team that create the bigger picture. They can determine which of those functions are able to change to make that bigger picture look more like the ultimate team vision.
Realists understand that making this change largely lies in their team’s strengths. As we discussed in the first and second newsletters, when someone identifies their core strengths, they become better at honing their hard skills. More importantly, they become attuned to their unique role and contributions to their group. The realistic capabilities of a team, therefore, are highly dependent upon the individual strengths of its members, and the strengths of the team as a whole.
Since, in a healthy team, these strengths are constantly expanding, realists must also be good at recognizing when to take risks and when to wait. Realists don’t always play it safe; when they see an opportunity for growth even with a chance of failure, they can take it if they know their team is ready and equipped to handle it.
It’s a misconception that realists act cold and calculating, poo-pooing any ideas that are out of their team’s reach. In reality, being a realist doesn’t rule out having dreams and ideas—they’re actually very necessary for determining what to accomplish. Realism, instead, is concerned with the “how” of accomplishment, and uses those dreams as a means to reveal all that’s already possible.
That’s why those who are realistic can also be quite resourceful and creative. Taking into account everything you already have, you often realize you don’t need what you don’t have! Knowing your parameters helps you get more from less, and shows you the easiest and clearest path for expanding those boundaries.
As you’ve probably noticed from past newsletters, the elements of SurTHRIVE are highly interconnected and interdependent. In this way, the Realistic leadership trait we’ve described here especially requires Insight, which we’ll look at next week.
- What are your strengths?
- What energizes you?
- What do others say you do well?
- List three of your strengths.
- How can you get better at them?
- How can you use them to overcome some of your weaknesses?
- Take time this week to reflect on your strengths.
For more information on determining your strengths consider taking the Gallup Strengthsfinder Assessment www.gallupstrengthscenter.com.