If I were to put you in a completely dark room and you had no idea where the door was, how would you find the door?
You would have to take a step, and adjust for your next step given the “feedback”, wouldn’t you? You would probably bump into things. You may even get a few bruises. You might feel uncomfortable or scared and perhaps get frustrated, too.
It is likely you would have to change course a few times just to find your way to a wall, let alone the door.
Of course, eventually, with enough trial, error, and discovery you would find your way to that door.
Learning to lead or elevating your leadership to the next level can feel a lot like being in that dark room.
You may have gotten to where you are based on who you have been, what you know and what you have contributed so far. But to get to whatever the next level is for you, you must travel through inherently unfamiliar territory.
You can wait for someone to turn the proverbial lights on: to learn enough, know enough or be certain enough to have confidence in taking that next step. Or you can mindfully choose a next step and see what happens. Sure you may metaphorically bump into things or fall down. The alternative, however, is to stand still, wait and hope.
“I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” Confucious
Leadership requires action. There is no way around it. You must act and then respond given the feedback from the world around you. This is the only way to turn the lights of real learning and growth on inside of you. It is only by taking action that we can truly understand what it means to be a leader.
Besides, one of the best ways to lead people out of their comfort zone is to get out of your own.