Leadership is a word commonly used in reference to formal leadership – corporate teams, individuals in positions of authority, and for those who guide, direct and well… lead. But the word also refers to those who are not formal leaders – those in community service, a leading contender, a mentor, a peer, someone leading a full life.
The capacity for leadership exists within each one of us. But it is up to us to discover it and unleash it! So how do we do it? What is leadership when it is applied to so many different people, in so many different ways?
The answer is found in knowing where leadership begins – personal leadership – leadership of self first. All formal leadership begins here.
Personal leadership begins with knowing yourself and the direction you want your life to take. The ability to define what you want out of life and how you’re going to get it is the first step in developing personal leadership.
“Leadership is practiced not so much in words as in attitude and in actions”.
Personal leadership then, is accountability for oneself.
When you accept the responsibility and accountability of your own personal leadership, you will begin to realize that you, not others, are responsible for your life. You alone are responsible for your attitudes, actions, and the rewards and consequences of both. You determine the course of your destiny and become the master of your life. You gain the kind of self confidence that drives the successful outcome of any goal you set for yourself.
This kind of confidence, determination and solution-oriented thinking and action is the foundation of formal leadership – and determines our influence and impact on others – it is leadership by example. Think for a moment of all the situations in which you are looked to as a leader, either formally or informally… with your children, friends, peers, co-workers, customers, organizations, and ask yourself, “What leadership example am I setting?”
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more & become more, you are a leader.”
John Quincy Adams