My Ideal Future

In my ideal future, I want to be a great leader. By being able to serve the wider community, it’s a great sense of life satisfaction, which also requires a lot of learning from the process to deal with the challenging environment.

Leadership is hard in a very practical way. It’s about managing politics, skillfully and effectively to achieve what’s most important; building bridges between people and silos; raising hard-to-talk about issues in a way that others agree to address them; acting courageously in a risky situation; showing up in critical leadership moments with confidence; connecting with people in a way that inspires their commitment, responding productively to opposition without losing my focus, skillfully handling people who push back; and building trust relationships, even with difficult people or people I don’t like.

Today I may be making beginner mistakes as a manager, but I will get better. My future would be completely different if I continue to learn leadership skills such that I would be able to make more personal connections, make a greater impact on our society and influence more people towards a better world.

By putting enthusiasm into learning how to lead more effectively I will find that some of the obstacles in my path will disappear. This is a challenge to focus all my talent and power on the goal of effective communicate and work with my team, the sense of mastery that comes from being able to hold the attention, stir the emotions, and convince a group to act. I will find that competence in self-expression will lead to competence in other ways as well, such as more self-confidence in all the areas of working and living.

I was shy in the presence of a group; when I counter meetings I used to sit at the corner, bashful and silent, unable to find words, listen while others are talking. Instead, I should seek every opportunity to lead in public instead of being inactive. Try to give my followers information, entertain them, convinced them that my position is right, or persuade them to take action of some kind.

End up I would keep doing new things with different teams, scanning the horizon for growth opportunities, and pushing myself to acquire different leadership capabilities and having high performance on my job. That requires a willingness to experiment and become a novice again and again, an extremely discomforting notion, but success at the learning process.

It would need the attributes of aspiration, self-awareness, curiosity and vulnerability. This is because I truly want to understand and master new skills as a leader. I see why I want to achieve my goal clearly, and I constantly think and ask good questions. I would not be afraid to stand up for what I believe in and confront people in public if necessary.

I like meeting new challenges, take risks and preserve despite obstacles. I could assemble a team and willing to learn from others. I would be willing to task risks, such as making a mistake or appearing non-expert in public. I could talk openly about my challenges and fears, inviting feedback from others whom I would just meet.

This would be a key learning opportunity not to be missed, and I should not avoid questioning myself. Instead, I should intentionally move outside of my comfort zone, being open to new experience, people and information. Staying within my comfort zone is a good way to prepare for today, but it’s a terrible way to prepare for tomorrow.

To sustain success, I must keep learning to be a better leader. I would need the capacity for rapid, continuous learning from experience and making connections across the experience. I would be able to let go of perspective or approaches that are no longer useful. I could unlearn things and with a mindset toward learning goals and open to new experience. I experiment, seek feedback, and reflect systematically. I plan to achieve my goals through experimental activities and better understand my strengths and limitations, seeking feedback and having self-awareness.

I want to learn about leadership as it would connect the dots across seemingly unrelated areas. For example, I could systematically apply principles I used to learn about public speaking to the domain of leadership development. I can develop expertise by trying different storytelling, analysing rhetoric and discussing them with my mentors. Borrowing these principles, I realised I could extend my mastery of leadership development by seeking out a wide variety of leaders to coach, comparing leaders to each other on various qualities, and discussing leaders with other experts. I can choose a domain I have expertise in but it’s unrelated to my work and apply that knowledge to my current challenge.

To put my plans into action, I would use a process with observation, practice and feedback. I would observe the great leaders systematically and analyzing what they do. Practice requires me to identify leadership opportunity and tasks that I can attempt. After taking the challenges, I would learn from the feedback by analyzing and self-reflection. I would try to frame what I am working on as an opportunity for gaining new knowledge about leadership.

Throughout self-reflection, it helps with my learning and gain more from those experience. It helps me to think about my thinking. This is like engaging in a conversation with myself, ask me a question and examine more effectively by thinking about my thinking. The self-explaining voice could ask me questions and have a deeper thought about why I am doing what I am doing. “What does this mean? Why does it matter?” By explaining an idea to myself I could learn more than those who don’t and outperform my colleagues. By finding an opportunity to use the new skills that I studied in theory, increases the stickiness of my memory and applies what I learn in a collaborative project.

Leadership skills require me constantly update myself and reach out to people on my network, and learning from other people. This is a lifetime of learning and improves my communication skills, including sharpening my ideas and content, clarifying my writing, enhancing my oral communication skills and improving my listening skills. Oral communication will require improvement in both my verbal and nonverbal presentation.

Listening to a lecture doesn’t help me grow my leadership skills and having the emotional courage to take risks. I would need to take actions in real life before I am ready, try to exercise leadership skills in the low-risk situation as much as possible such that I could perform better in the high-risk scenario. Go slowly and feel all the feelings that come up with dealing with people. Those are the same feelings I will feel in the critical moments because that’s what risk feels like. I can follow through and feel the risk, knowing that the actual consequence of failure is quite low in my daily practice.

By learning from the past or departing from the horrors, I could understand and generate a view on dealing with a full spectrum of human interaction. Work as hard as I possibly can on leadership skill and see what happens. I might be able to undertake and accomplish things that I never dreamed possible. I could talk before groups, take active parts in business and professional and community activities, and become truly a leader. Clear, forceful, and emphatic expressiveness is one of the marks of leadership in our society. This expressiveness must govern all utterances of a leader from private interview to public pronouncements.

My ideal future would be an honourable and productive leader utilizing my life to the full potential to contribute and make our world a better place to live for others and our next generations. There are many great leaders in history that I admire, they may not being good at many things but being uniquely outstanding at a few things. Such strengths allow the team to have high performance and achieve extraordinary result.

By Victor Leung

Experience in software development, consulting services and technical product management. Understanding of business and technology with an MBA in Finance and a Master degree in Computer Science. AWS Certified Solution Architect with experience in building products from scratch and serving as a charismatic leader.

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