Published byon August 31st, 2009
It may seem like a redundant question, but can you lead yourself or is that exclusively the privilege of another? Leadership tools are usually wielded on others but if you chose to use them on yourself which 3 would make the top of your list? Here are mine…
1. ECCE HOMO – Know Yourself.
It may sound redundant, but beginnings matter and to start at the beginning makes the best sense. Go back to who you are at the very core and understand what unique attributes, talents, qualities and experiences you bring to the world. This is at the heart of Identity based Leadership. Don’t just understand your strengths in the light of themselves, but understand all you have to contribute in the light of the roles you play.
Steven Covey encourages us to define our lives into seven primary roles. For example mine would be; Husband, Father, Brother, Entrepreneur, Coach, Advisor and Friend. So I would think through my role as a Father and then within that I would think through all the talents, qualities, attributes and experiences I have to offer within that role. Then move to the next role, till you have completed all seven roles. It becomes quite encouraging when you think through all that you have to offer and I have found encouragement to be an essential element in successfully leading myself.
2. Get yourself a ‘BHAG’
Once you have assimilated all your talents and strengths into a collective, and can bring them to bear on an idea, then I dare you to dream the biggest dream about that idea, that you ever have. Go get yourself a ‘Big Hairy Audacious Goal’. People follow many things but almost all can be boiled down to two leaders: a person or an idea. You cannot really follow yourself except in the sense that you know your full Identity and are looking to that for your strongest contribution.
On the other hand, you can be lead or inspired by a big idea. Imagine that big idea. Build the possibility of ‘what if’ into the hope of that idea. Narrow and focus the idea until it has great clarity and train your efforts (individually and collaboratively) on accomplishing the idea. Remember, Focus = Impact!!
3. Just do it!
We have Nike to thank for that slogan, but it speaks volumes. It has never ceased to amaze me how many people talk, and how few show up. Just showing up is the easiest thing to do. You don’t need a college degree to know how to show up, but you cannot get anything done without first showing up. The early action commitments are the easy ones because of all the fresh excitement from the challenge of the BHAG, but what about 6 weeks later or tougher yet, 6 months later? Are you still showing up?
I challenge you to consider the discipline of an external source, to help you keep the main thing, the main thing. If you naturally keep yourself on track in this area – then congratulations, you are in very rare company indeed. However, if you need some help keeping your focus to the end, then make use of and submit yourself to, the guidance and efficiency of a time management system. Whether it is on paper – a day-planner, electronic – a PDA, a cyber/virtual assistant or even an in-person assistant, all will have a positive and streamlining effect on your time allocations and help keep you facing the BHAG.
Two questions then:
- What are your top 3 self-leadership actions?
- Do you know yourself and if not how will you find out?