Leading Yourself – the Beginning of the Leadership Journey
No one really starts their career saying, “I want to become the best leader I can be!”. They gravitate into an awareness of their desire to lead others through becoming experts in a discipline or technology or skill area. Eventually, they begin to understand the value of leading and assisting others in support of achieving projects, changes, and endeavors they value.
The enduring leaders I meet began their journey of leadership (at whatever age) from an internal focus. They, very early on in their awareness of a desire to become better leaders of others, crystallized their personal and career aspirations into tangible targets that held personal value for them. These aspirations connected with their passion and logic drove them to pursue specific areas of learning, exploring and mastering aspects of personal, technical and interpersonal capabilities.
“Who am I?”, is the foundational question for leaders? Taking the time to identify what makes you tick, your passion, your values and your priorities is not easy at any age. And it’s what’s required to make tangible and actionable the internal drivers of your life. In the absence of identifying these drivers, they control your life anyway in many irrational, spontaneous and sporadic ways. So getting in touch with them gives you the ability to make conscious choices about decisions that will move your life forward. Not doing this will cause you to swirl in continuous groundhog day cycles.
Ways to explore your inner self consist of:
- Self-assessment instruments
- Feedback from others (using an assessment tool, or not)
- Career coaching or counseling
- Enrolling in courses focused on self-awareness and knowledge-building
- Working with a leadership coach
It’s not as time-consuming as it sounds, and builds a solid foundation for enduring leadership that others will engage with because of your insight, honesty and authenticity.
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