DNA of Wave Makers™: The 4 Leadership Molecules that Everyone Wants
Wave Makers take that first step toward making the team feel like a team, experiment with a new product idea, or organize regular discussions for the other new college graduates. They have a meaningful idea, get others involved and act upon it. Wave Makers start the ripple effects toward important changes – even if they start with a small first step.
I’ve spent the last two years researching and talking with those who started all kinds of changes. I asked my trusted friends and colleagues, ‘who do you know that’s a Wave Maker?” I added their suggestions to my list and it resulted in an eclectic and interesting mix. I had everything from a Major League Baseball manager to a high school student; a new entrepreneur to a CEO; and, a community service leader to a recent graduate. As I studied their views and actions, I found so many common themes regardless of their experience or situation. Of course, there were differences in scope and scale, yet as human beings they approached the world in a similar way.
Wave Makers start the ripple effects toward important changes – even if they start with a small first step.
In my book, Make Waves: Be the One to Start Change at Work and in Life, I shared how to start a wave, yet I also saw something more in the make-up, or DNA of Wave Makers that I didn’t want to miss. They aren’t superhuman, yet I saw in them particular behaviors and beliefs that make up who they are; these patterns help them when starting a wave, doing their work, or being a trusted family member or a friend.
I’ve outlined the four key elements of Wave Maker DNA that lay the foundation for the way they approach their lives and work overall—beyond a wave or change.
Willingness to Look Beyond “Me”
Wave Makers place more importance on reaching the goal more than on personal recognition. They are driven by the anticipated impact and change rather than personal accolades. This approach keeps them motivated even when setbacks or detours occur. In addition, they:
- Believe their mission will benefit the greater good. Wave Makers create momentum around an idea that reaches beyond self to make work, the community, or the world better. They are more focused on “what’s in it for us” than “what’s in it for me.”
- Make authentic relationships a top priority. Wave Makers place a high priority on the meaningful and diverse relationships needed to achieve their goals. They are interested in being helpful to others. Relationships help them learn, build a strong network, and find meaning in their work.
Wave Makers place more importance on reaching the goal more than on personal recognition. They are driven by the anticipated impact and change rather than personal accolades.
Wave Makers have a healthy balance of persistence toward a goal while also adapting and adjusting when they get new information. Not deterred by setbacks, they are open to new ideas and insights. Wave Makers don’t give up on the goal, but remain flexible on how it is accomplished. They also:
- Believe in their idea and themselves. Wave Makers believe in their ability to reach their goals in spite of obstacles. Grounded in their mission, they are both passionate about their idea and resourceful. They have a healthy confidence in realizing the goal without getting distracted or mired in future details.
Wave Makers seek out experts, read, listen, and build mentoring relationships.
Voracious Appetite for Learning
Wave Makers are always looking to enhance their knowledge and insights. Wave Makers seek out experts, read, listen, and build mentoring relationships. They are comfortable taking on a new idea or topic because they have confidence that they can learn what they need to know. Wave Makers:
- Are comfortable with ambiguity; they find the way. Guided by a strong belief in themselves and their goal, they have a bias for action and can move forward with a plan that has unknowns. They know when and how to seek expert advice for new insights as they move forward.
- Are curious and ready to explore. Wave Makers often ask, “Why?” and “What if?” It’s in their nature to want to understand, apply new ideas to their work, and explore. Wave Makers examine topics that on the surface may not seem linked to their work, but they see connections.
Wave Makers generally start from an intention of positivity and trust. They have a bias for transparency and authenticity in how they work with others. They aren’t driven by ego as much as by a desire to work together toward a shared goal. In addition, they:
- Engage and connect others to the mission. Wave Makers know that the way they communicate with others is vital to advancing their idea. They know that it is important to share their goals with many people to ensure their idea’s survival. They translate the meaning and purpose through stories that are relevant and meaningful to others.
Make Waves is about helping you start your wave and learn from others who have created change. We know that changes start not just by our actions. Changes in our life, work and community start by how we look at the world and how we think.
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This post includes Copyrighted material from Make Waves: Be the One to Start Change at Work and in Life.
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