Top Traits of Leadership: Resourcefulness

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Resourcefulness… It’s Not Just for Hard Times

Often times, when people fail to achieve, they believe they are missing resources like time, money, people and so on. While it is true that we need resources to accomplish any goal or task, the truth is we often take on these tasks without the proper tools for completion. And for many people, this becomes a source of frustration and overwhelm.

The top leaders in the world know the abundance of resources are never really the problem. The real problem is often a lack of resourcefulness. Being resourceful is now a necessary skill for today’s generation of leaders. Resourcefulness is not simply a matter of doing more with less — true resourcefulness is the realization that you can do more with less because you are more capable than you believe. Good leaders can always get the resources they need if they’re resourceful enough. In fact, one could see ‘resourcefulness’ as a resource.

When I worked for the State of Texas, we were often given tasks that seemed insurmountable without the proper resources. And invariably, many in the leadership team would begin their routine of excuses as to why they couldn’t get the job done.

I remember sitting in meeting after meeting with the “best and brightest” minds and thinking to myself, “How did some of these people get to this level?” As it turns out, most of them would dig deep within and find the resourceful nature that we all latently possess, and get the job done.

Being resourceful is, and should be, a mandatory trait for today’s leaders. Resourcefulness is not a means of coping with deprivation; it can be a virtue that opens the door to greater accomplishment. In fact, why would any CEO want to promote people into their hierarchy without it? Alas, it does happen.

As an Executive Coach, when I have clients faced with a lack of resourcefulness, I work with them to explore the following principles of the resourcefulness they hold within themselves.
Rethink Innovation – Many leaders fall into a trap of thinking that they need to display some source of ingenuity to impress the boss. That is a fallacy. What really impresses the boss is getting the job done, on time, and efficiently. Resourcefulness is about maximizing the usefulness of what you have to work with. Innovation is not always about creating something new; it also applies to making old things work better. As the old saying goes, “You don’t have to reinvent the wheel… just put new tires on it.”

Use your Mastermind – Many new leaders mistakenly believe that they must have all the answers. This is a limited belief that will soon bring an otherwise good leader to his or her knees. One of the greatest resources a leader has is the people he leads. Yet many leaders fail to utilize their team to generate ideas for a fear of looking weak and/or incapable. The truth is, you will look smarter while also instilling a sense of significance to your team. Approach your team with the task and get their input. Each member of any team has gifts, abilities, and ideas. Just because they are lower on the totem doesn’t mean they have nothing to offer – in fact, they are the ones doing the work, and their hands-on experience gives them innovative ideas they are likely dying to share.

Break down your action steps – Many leaders tend to focus on the bigger picture, and it does need to be kept in mind, however the gulf between where you are and where you want to be is often too wide to just step across. Instead, build a bridge to the solution. Break down your steps into smaller pieces and allow inspiration to take over. You will find that the solutions come much easier when your surrender the big picture.
Resourcefulness, while beneficial during critical times, should not be reserved just for them. Resourcefulness is like a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it gets. Relying on one’s ability to do more with existing resources and leading people to do the same will be a virtue when handed those tasks that are not accompanied by the proper tools.

Believe to Achieve!
Joe Vulgamore is a Life Coach and Leadership Development Specialist – as well as a Personal Development Author and Speaker. He works with people to develop leadership skills, perform at optimum levels, and achieve excellence. He has 30 years of leadership experience and a proven track record of helping thousands of people from over 14 countries, across 5 continents, to make life-transformations through one-to-one coaching and workshops.

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