There is a difference between LIVING LIFE & LEADING LIFE! LIVING is enjoying the ride life offers, while LEADING is jumping on the steering wheel and driving towards achieving the goals that one has set for oneself, to fulfill their dreams and aspirations. Simply put, it is Taking the Lead to Live the Life of Purpose, Fulfilment and Self Actualization!
One search on “Leadership Training” on Google gives more than 75Million search results in less than half a second, and a search on ‘Leadership challenge’ gives around 300 Million search results in half a second! This indicates the intensity of interest, the gravity of challenge that millions of people feel every second on ‘Leadership’, such that they wish to develop their LEADERSHIP SKILLS so desperately! But, what makes Leadership such a sought after quality?
WHO should be a LEADER? WHY?
Do you need to be a CEO of a company, a manager, or a politician to be a leader? Surprisingly, I get this question asked ALL THE TIME. Strange, right? However, One of my favorite replies is a quote by Warren Bennis: “Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” It can be can be your personal vision, your group’s vision, your country’s vision, whatever...
Leadership is not limited by Position, Status, or Success of a Person. Anybody who aspires to influence others and make a Positive Impact on the society, organization or personal sphere can be a LEADER!
Most people have dreams, aspirations, and goals. Only leaders take the leap to make it happen by defining the vision, preparing for the challenges, staying motivated during difficult times, and STRIVING to turn it into reality.
Leading others or Leadership, is taking it a step further. Every time you engage in influencing others for better good, you are being a leader. Leadership is about inspiring others to unleash their potential and personal power for a greater good. It is influencing people who are engaged in a common goal or purpose, and directing them toward the accomplishment of a task or the reaching to the destination through various ethically based means. Leaders direct their energies, and the energies of their followers to the accomplishment of something together.
Leaders turn dreams into reality, they help businesses improve their bottom line, they have the ability to turn failure into success and that is what makes Leadership such a powerful and sought after skill!
Self- Leadership: the way to go…
Only when individuals have experience of leading themselves, they are ready to lead others. Effective leadership starts from inside. One needs to be a Self Leader before hoping to lead anyone else. Self-Leaders know themselves and they know what they need to do to be successful. It is the process of influencing oneself and developing the self-motivation needed to perform.
Self-leaders know how to lead themselves towards their goals even if it entails venturing areas they have never been before, requiring qualities they don’t possess. They are The GO GETTERS, with unique enthusiasm to win, and great determination to succeed.
Self - leaders typically exhibit following characteristics
1. Stay in touch with their DREAMS
You can only go as high as your dreams! Self-Leaders don’t shy away from dreaming big. They have high levels of Self-actualization. They articulate their aspirations into small steps of achievable goals and constantly strive to achieve them.
"The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams." – Oprah Winfrey
2. They know their purpose
They know their competencies, their passion, and the unique proposition they possess, to offer the world. Accordingly, they create a compelling vision for themselves, which gives a larger meaning to their existence, connects them to a cause larger than life, and makes them feel accomplished and fulfilled.
“HE who has A WHY TO LIVE FOR can bear almost ANY HOW.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche
3. Are self aware and have Superior Self management skills
They are aware of their strengths and weaknesses, their reaction patterns, their triggers & push buttons, and their mood swings.
They know what ignites their passion, and drives them to ‘peak performance’. They take charge of themselves, and control the situations rather than being controlled by them.
They are aware of the effect they have on others. They are cognizant about the power they possess due to their position, rank, age, seniority, relationships, etc. And they use their powers effectively to achieve their purpose. In other words, they know their cards & play them well!
“If you understand your own feelings you get a really great handle on how you’re going to interact and perform with others…So one of the first starting points is, ‘what’s going on inside of me’?” -Chuck Wolfe
4. Do a reality check
They do a realistic assessment of the situation. Best-case scenarios or worst-case scenarios do not mar their judgment. Nor is their performance subdued by over- confidence and under-preparedness. They know their limitations and constantly work towards overcoming them.
“To me, business isn't about wearing suits or pleasing stockholders. It's about being true to yourself, your ideas and focusing on the essentials.” - Richard Branson
5. They take accountability
Self-Leaders do not blame circumstances for not being able to do things. They take ownership of their actions, and hold themselves responsible for their situation. They Create adversities into possibilities, and create the circumstances necessary for success.
"Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." -Winston Churchill
6.Challenge Status quo
They have an insatiable desire to grow. They do not or get stuck in the rut “this is the way I do things”. Instead, they constantly introspect, evaluate, challenge and develop themselves.
They know learning is a life long process. They are not afraid of venturing unknown territories; they know that every time you step out of your comfort zone you grow a little.
“Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen” – Michael Jordan
7. They grow their circle of influence
Their passion is contagious, their energy is infectious, they are people magnates and people get naturally drawn towards them. This is because they know that you only gain power by empowering others. A leader is a facilitator, a coach, a mentor, who knows the way, shows the way, supports others in their journey, hold them accountable for their actions and develops others into Self-Leaders!
“Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate and doubt to offer a solution everybody can understand.” – Colin Powell
Self-Leadership “is a process whereby individuals utilize self-direction and self-motivation to behave in ways considered necessary for successful outcomes (Houghton and Neck 2002)”. It needs immense self-confidence, self-reliance, optimism and enthusiasm to be a self-leader.
Anyone, who is motivated to develop himself/herself, can be a LEADER! Self-Leadership is an ability and it can be developed. It is not merely self-discipline; it is a set of well-defined strategies for personal improvement, which entails practices of Self-influence, self-regulation, self-control, self-management, intrinsic motivation, social cognition, and cognitive psychology. Specific sets of EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE and COGNITIVE STRATEGIES can be used to develop self-influence necessary to drive individual performance and development.
"The Human Brain has immense potential, there is no point in under-utilizing it and living a life less than what you deserve!"
- Preeti Dubey
Founder, Director STRIVE HIGH - Soft Solutions for tough problems
Masters in Psychology, MBA, Bachelors in Biological Sciences,
ACTA Certified Trainer, Certified EQ-i 2.0 & 360 Professional,
Member of American Psychological Association