5 Steps to Leadership Growth: #5 Perpetuation

Welcome to the 5th step in 5 Steps to Leadership Growth, the framework I use with leaders to help them successfully build their leadership capacity. As we each grow in our leadership, honing our unique “Power of One,” this framework can help us and the people we are developing to stay on course:

1. Purpose
2. Perception
3. Plan
4. Performance
5. Perpetuation

Let’s talk about Perpetuation. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines Perpetuation as:
• To make perpetual; preserve from extinction; cause to last indefinitely
• To make something or somebody be remembered

With our framework, it is important to include Perpetuation. It is how we continue the progress we have made and ensure we stay on course going forward.

Perpetuation is the fifth part of the framework, and rather than thinking of it as a final step, it is actually an activity that assures success at every step along the way. Perpetuation demonstrates that what we have learned as leaders in the development process is sustainable over time.

How can we assure that the valuable insights we have learned, the habits we have changed and the commitments we have made to ourselves and others will not disappear and fade from view? What are the key elements of sustainable change?

Well, in a nutshell, the key elements of sustainable change are the ones in the framework!

Your Purpose is a clear statement about your uniqueness and power in your role as leader. Some examples:
? “I want to create a department that attracts the brightest and best so that we can make a significant contribution in changing this company.”
? “My purpose is to keep learning and this job helps me do that – I have to learn new things every day just to keep up and I love that!”
? “My job is to keep solving problems, get to the root of the issues, and reduce risk. This is where I excel.”

Perception is understanding what others think of us and our leadership effectiveness. This feedback is essential to sustainable leadership change. I encourage the leaders with whom I work to regularly and continually asking questions of their bosses, peers and direct reports such as, ‘How can I do better?” “What can I do to develop my contributions as a colleague at work?’ or ‘What can I do to be an excellent leader of this group?’

A Leadership Development Plan encapsulates the feedback you have received, and aligns it with your Purpose. What are the one or two major leadership competencies, that if strengthened, would move you more quickly and efficiently toward your Purpose? What behaviors or habits do you need to change? How exactly will you do that? What help do you need?

In my last post, we talked about the fourth step, Performance. The areas of performance that you want to change are specific to you, your role and where you want to go. I listed some Leadership Performance Tips and put them in the Sustainable Leadership Plan format below.

So how can we be assured of sustaining the change we have stated we want to make? By stating clearly the behaviors/action steps that you are willing to take, by when, whom you need to help, and how you will remind yourself. Every behavior we exhibit, every step we take each day, is actually a combination of many smaller steps and habits. Therefore, to change those behaviors, we need to break them down into smaller steps.

As a personal example, I have had an opportunity to learn about this from my participation in Weight Watchers. I have learned that assuring I eat the foods that will keep me at a healthy weight and exercising to assure I am fit is a combination of many small steps throughout the day and week: planning meals, shopping for food, making sure I have healthy foods at home, keeping track of what I eat, scheduling my exercise sessions, and having a work-out partner to whom I am accountable are all “small steps” in the larger goal of maintaining a healthy weight.

Helping Others With Sustainable Change
We can use this same format in our conversations with those whom we are developing – direct reports, staff members and mentees. Having a format, with clear action steps and reminders, will help reinforce the sustainable change they seek.

My Sustainable Leadership Plan

I hope you find this 5 Step Framework helpful. Enjoy!

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