“Crazy” may be the latest trend in leadership excellence. If you’re a skilled and savvy leader set on revitalizing a division, organization or brand, then perhaps you’re genetically predisposed to success and doing so in a way that bucks the norm.
The word “crazy” conjures up many definitions, but as defined by Daniel Birnbaum, CEO of SodaStream International, the crazy gene is found in “enthusiastic executives,**” ready to take on high level challenges. Evidently, it’s a good barometer for success, as exemplified by SodaStream’s historical re-emergence as a heavy soda market competitor—enough to garner a televised presence at the 2013 Super Bowl.
So what does it take to leverage your “crazy gene” into outstanding leadership?
It begins with stoking the fire in your belly. You have to harness the drive, approach each day optimistically and be intensely focused on rallying your team forward. This also includes developing vision and buy-in and continually exercising your leadership muscles.
If you’ve outlined your strategic plan in a way that your team understands how their contributions will purposefully impact the overall vision, then you’re well on your way.
But “crazy” isn’t limited to peak team performance. It’s all about pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone and recognizing that healthy risks bring huge rewards. It’s also about exercising your leadership muscles in new ways.
When you exercise, you build muscles. It’s not always easy to lift weights and do cardio work, but there are huge benefits including survival. The same can be said about leadership. Whether you manage a team or are a leader in your own career, you need to exercise and build your leadership muscles.
I have a client who wants to be seen as an effective leader. To do so, she needs to build her leadership muscles by exercising leadership actions. For example, she wanted to be seen more as a leader in meetings. So, she decided that in meetings she would lean in and speak up to ensure she has a voice.
This wasn’t a habit of hers. Now, it is. She’s also finding new ways to exercise her leadership muscles, including participating in leadership events and improving her communication and personal style.
Building leadership muscles takes work and dedication. If you want to be seen as a leader then start tapping into your “crazy” gene.
How To Be Career Happy? Get a Little Crazy.
**Entrepreneur Magazine April 2013