Developing as a Leader is an Incremental Process not a Giant Leap

successDevelopment - the process by which the vision, purpose, strengths, abilities, weaknesses of an individual become visible in degrees of clarity through the fog of uncertainty, fear, chaos, grief, loss, victory and daily living. Leaders develop in hind sight through distinct processes and hurdles. Smart leaders use the power of hindsight as a means of foresight to persevere in their darkest hours because they know there is transformation on the other side if they keep up a learning posture and if they exercise the most important developmental leverage of all - forgiveness (see http://raywheeler.wordpress.com/2011/06/11/when-leadership-requires-the-power-of-forgiveness/).

I read the blogs of emerging leaders and I noticed that many of them feel overwhelmed while simultaneously desiring to explore new territory and that is how it should be for emerging leaders. Focus comes later in development.  I felt the words "overwhelmed" when I read them.  I experienced a visceral impact because I still recall those periods of self-doubt mixed with confidence (or arrogance).  So, I am compelled to offer both encouragement and a reminder.

The encouragement is keep exploring and pushing the boundaries of what you think is possible. Embrace failure and attribute success.  In my early days as a leader I took as much pride in the number of failures I had accomplished as successes and celebrated the lessons learned in both.

The reminder is that vision, purpose, strengths, abilities, weaknesses become visible in degrees of clarity through the fog of uncertainty, fear, chaos, grief, loss, victory and daily living.

Keep going, not everything in your path will be pleasant or desirable.  Yet everything in your path will shape and develop you powerfully if you see and learn.