personal leadership

Control is not leadership;

management is not leadership;

leadership is leadership.

If you seek to lead,

invest at least 50% of your time in leading yourself

— your own purpose, ethics, principles, motivation, conduct.

Dee Hock

In our hyper-competitive world today, leadership skills are crucial to any successful business venture. What is leadership? Leadership is term most commonly used to refer to activities such as conducting, guiding, or directing other people; initiating the appropriate activity aimed at a specific target or goal. However, leadership is also the term used to refer to someone who is in leader role or capacity. How can leadership be applied in so many different ways? And what really constitutes being a leader in all of these situations? The answer is contained in the realization that perhaps the most fundamental characteristic of leadership, and therefore of individuals who are leaders, is personal leadership.

Its an ongoing debate about whether leaders are born or made. The answer, is yes. Some people are natural leaders, while others have to acquire the specific skills and or hone the talent needed to successfully make their mark as a leader. Some people have the confidence and the charisma to make themselves known and act as a good role model that others can follow. These people do not require much in the way of guidance in nurturing their inherent talents. And, there are many, many others for who have to work to develop good or better leadership qualities as a key to their success. Leadership skill training is a huge industry in today’s corporate world, and we will chat about that another day. But today’s focus is on personal leadership.

What is personal leadership?

It is the ability to direct your own life and to lead yourself in the direction that you would like for your life to take. The ability to define what you want out of life and how you are going to get there is the first step in developing leadership, both personally and corporately. Personal leadership means leading, directing, and taking action. It means living each day to its fullest. It means taking the time, making the proper effort and finding the correct tools to achieve the goals that you want to achieve so badly. Knowing what you want out of life, figuring out what success means to you specifically, articulating your goals, knowing that those goals are part of your purpose for being alive, is the essence of personal leadership.

Personal leadership also means accountability, to yourself and to others. I know that’s a “four letter word” in many circles. But, it means that you have made a conscious decision to use the special, specific and unique talents that you have been given to reach further, higher, deeper, wider, to reach your goals. It means that you have come to the realization that you have the potential to develop further. It means that you have determined the course you need to pursue, and that you are the master of your life.

You are a leader. You are an important leader, even if you lead no one except yourself through your daily life. Figure out what you want to do, where you want to go, who you want to be. Find out how to get it done. The first step in becoming a leader of repute of other people is to be able to demonstrate that you can lead your most important follower. You!


Photo Credit: Bert Kaufmann via Compfight cc

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