Everything you have experienced and will experience can make you a better professional throughout your career, but only if you want it to. If you can keep a positive mindset, you will always be growing and helping your career’s long game. Think of it this way, your career is a long-term investment, not day trading.
Most people who believe in overnight successes are foolish. If you show me someone who has achieved great things today, I could easily show you they were working for 5, 10 or 20 years before they ever were recognized. So what can you do to breakthrough in your career and show your boss you are ready for leadership?
F.M.L. is a framework you can use that includes a collection of best practices and ideas that follow a natural progression. Unfortunately, professional progress and leadership aren’t destinations you can pinpoint on a map. There aren’t turn-by-turn directions to ensure you are in a leadership position at a certain date. But having these fundamental concepts in place will help you stand out and move up. If you use this framework and the elements within it, you will create your own unique path to leadership and be better prepared to effectively lead others.
The best part is, the framework is simple to remember. It’s “F-M-L”! No, it’s probably not the first thing that came to your mind (but I bet you’ll remember it now.) F.M.L. stands for “Follow My Lead” and here’s what the framework stands for:
F – Follow First
M – My Development
L – Lead by Example
Follow (Follow First)
Most people think the word ‘follower’ means someone who is weak or unable to lead. Quite the opposite is true. In order for you to be a great leader, it starts with first being an active follower. The key word there is ‘active’. Active followers understand this stage of their professional journey is about learning, gaining experience, and ultimately turning these two things into expertise. I don’t know one person who has become a great leader without first being an active follower.
My (My Development)
A focus on your personal growth will help you become the best possible professional and person you can be. Once you take ownership of your own development, you will have the opportunity to truly turn the corner and perform at levels you can’t even imagine. Being tuned-into your development is critical to aligning yourself with people and activities that will enhance your professional progress and potential impact.
Lead (Lead By Example)
The choices you make every single day will be watched and judged by others whether you like it or not. This means you have the ability to earn credibility and build trust through your actions. At the end of the day, you have to earn the right to lead and you can do this through leading by example. People will create a perception of you based on how you lead by example and it will have an enormous impact on your ability to create traction and momentum in your professional progress. Most people believe they don’t have control over the perception others have of them. While it’s true you can’t control someone else’s brain, you have much more control over people’s perception of you than you probably believe.
As a by-product of implementing the F.M.L. framework, you will also improve your personal and professional life. So I am putting the ball in your court and challenging you to put it into action.
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About the Author John Eades is the CEO of LearnLoft and host of the Follow My Lead Podcast. He is also the author of F.M.L. Standing Out & Being a Leader, and is passionate about the development of modern professionals. You can find him on instagram @johngeades.