Accelerators in Action
Let’s take a look at five common accelerators in more detail:
In The Wizard of Oz, the Cowardly Lion goes on the yellow brick road searching for courage. Chased by his personal fears, he continuously doubts himself with his tail between his legs at any sign of uncertainty. What he ultimately shows us is that courage is not the absence of fear. In fact, it’s the opposite: courage is moving forward in spite of your fears. Being courageous also means practicing grit and persistence to face difficult situations with grace and dignity. The lion finds it within himself, not from the Wizard!
Drive is having and showing motivation and commitment to achieve your goals in life. When connected with desire and practice, it is a go-to accelerator for leaders. When you make a conscious choice to combine these powerful motivators, you can learn new things, develop new habits, and change behaviors. When we set specific and difficult goals for ourselves, that extra dose of determination helps us achieve better performance.
Change requires focus, attention, repetition, and practice. All great performers – in sports, music, entertainment, and even leadership – deliberately practice with intensity. Experts are made, not born!
You start with a challenge or opportunity and lay out a proposed path toward your desired future. Practicing the same behaviors enough times will enable your mind to become a habit forming machine. Research shows that to be successful at something, you need to work long and hard, pause and reflect with proper mindfulness, and regularly engage in deliberate practice.
Resilience is being able to recover quickly from setbacks and adversity. How resilient are you? Most likely, you underestimate your strength to rebound quickly. You are much more resilient than you think. Resilience is like a muscle that must be exercised. The more you use it, the stronger it becomes.
Whether you are coping with adversity, bouncing back from setbacks, or leading through uncertainty, these experiences can make you stronger. When you rise to meet a challenge, you strengthen your capacity to suffer through setbacks and build character. Adversity also has an impact on your consciousness and makes you more sensitive to others and gives you deeper perspective.
Most people are surprised to learn that vulnerability acts as an accelerator. We tend to see it as a sign of weakness, a flaw in character, or even recognition of failure. But being willing to accept and acknowledge your vulnerabilities reflects strength. Being your most honest and open self will propel you forward.
In a fast-paced and changing world, we are all vulnerable. Though many of us work hard to hide that vulnerability by never showing our emotions or admitting to mistakes, in reality we’re all much more inclined to work and live with real people – people with the courage to reveal themselves emotionally and show up as multi-dimensional human beings.
Embracing Your Accelerators and Putting Them to Work
Understanding your Accelerators will help you create real change in yourself and your organization. As you become more aware of them, you can access them when you need them to navigate through speed and change, leveraging your strengths to propel you and your organization forward.
Accelerators and Hijackers are part of the Get Real practice in our book CONSCIOUS: The Power of Awareness in Business and Life. The other practices are Go Deep, Think Big, and Step Up.