Join Jeff Weiner for an in-depth discussion in this video Know what you want to accomplish, part of On Leadership by Jeff Weiner.
- The last part about self-awareness I wanted to touch on is shifting gears a little bit. The first two are a little more contemplative. This third one is more about you career and your career arc and your long-term objectives and it's knowing what you want to accomplish. If you're going to be an effective leader and you're going to be self-aware it needs to start in a sense with what your long-term goals are because that becomes true north. It helps you make better decisions. It helps you make better decisions on behalf of your own career. It helps you make better decisions with regard to the company that you're operating with and for. It helps you make better decisions on behalf of the team that works for you. You need to know what it is that you're trying to accomplish otherwise you're just drifting. You're going from one opportunity to another. You're just reacting to the situation and that's not going to enable you to effectively lead. You want to be proactive. You want to know exactly what that end game is. Now for people just starting out in their career, it's very natural to not know what it is you ultimately want to accomplish. I have the opportunity to meet with our interns year in and year out. I talk to first-year employees just out of college, bright-eyed and super-optimistic about the work but if I ask what it is they ultimately want to accomplish you very rarely hear an answer with conviction. That's perfectly okay. With less experience you would expect that. But over time it's really important that you start to think about this answer. Does anyone here know what it is they ultimately want to accomplish? And put a different way, if you look out in your career 30, 40 years, and then look back, could you summarize in a sentence or two what it is that you want to accomplish with great specificity? With great specificity, that gave you pause? If I don't add with great specificity I typically hear two answers, change the world, and parenthetically, for the better. Sometimes they don't say for the better. I'm like you want to change the world for the worse? No, you don't. Change the world for the better. And have a material impact at the company that they work at. Those are the two answers I get. The specificity helps because the more narrowly you define what it is you ultimately want to accomplish, the better your decision making will become in terms of what to do and what not to do. And the more you can manifest it, both implicitly and explicitly. The people around you understand what it is you want to accomplish, they're going to try to set you up to be successful. They're going to open doors. They're going to make connections. And you're going to make decisions differently when you know what it is that you ultimately want to accomplish.
Learn about the importance of maintaining awareness of yourself, your team, your industry, and the world at large. Explore the topic of synthesis, which you achieve through developing your vision and values and by focusing on the most important priorities. Plus, learn about the role of inspiration in leadership, both in terms of being true to your own values and motivating others.