“The task of the leader is to get their people from where they are to where they have not been.” ~Henry Kissinger
Being new to the private, industrial-sector world can be overwhelming and challenging. During the nearly six months I’ve been here, I’m learning every day about the refinery’s processes, what makes them work and all the intricacies associated with them. While I’m just a beginner in the refining world, one thing I have come to learn rather quickly is the need for a catalyst.
The catalyst required in a process unit is the driving force behind transforming one product into a more usable, valuable one. Without the catalyst, no reaction can take place, leaving the original material in a less-desirable state.
Let’s examine this in relation to leadership. People may desire to become better leaders or to develop the traits needed to lead.
However, they may not have a vehicle to propel them to that level. In this scenario, these people correspond to a product intended to become more usable and valuable.
The catalyst corresponds with one who leads others to achieve a goal without which leadership prospects don’t have the means to change. The catalyst results in a valuable leader.
So how does a catalyst become the driving force behind change?
Consider this example: platinum is used as a catalyst to transform one product; in catalyst leadership, the platinum person inspires, motivates, empowers and influences others to become a leader and serves as a driving force behind change.
A catalyst leader shows a vested interest in others in various ways, such as coaching or mentoring. A catalyst leader has the ability to transform a person’s vision into reality.
This simply can be done by having the intangibles that come from heart, passion and conviction.
Believe it or not, all of those practices can be contagious and inspire others to be the best they can be, to set and achieve goals and to work toward places they never thought they could.
Similarly, there will always be challenges and obstacles along the way. The key is to battle through adversity, make midcourse corrections around the obstacles and stay laser-focused on your goals.
Often, this can’t happen without a catalyst that pushes you towards constant personal development. We’ve all at one time or another been in positions where we needed a catalyst to take us beyond our comfort zone.
One of the pillars of leadership is seeking opportunities and satisfaction in transforming the lives of others. Remember, true leadership lies at the core within ourselves and being a catalyst to facilitate and support change in others.