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7 Lessons Learned From Leading Myself

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Photo by Hamed Saber

 

The ability to engage in personal leadership is of critical importance.  Failure to successfully navigate this process has been the downfall of major leaders in a variety of industries.  Not only did their inability to lead themselves impact them, but in some instances it also affected their staff, the entire corporation and even stockholders in the worst cases.

It isn’t just people in business that benefit from personal leadership.  All of your interactions with others are enhanced by the ability to lead yourself with noble purpose.  Leading myself more often than not is a character issue that is usually rooted in self-control.

 

Here are 7 things I’ve learned through the process of leading myself.

1.  There is value in being flexible.  This means that while I may not always be in control, I can control how I respond to things.  I can choose how to respond and make necessary adjustments.  Sometimes these adjustments have worked out even better than my original plan.

2.  Leading from behind the scenes can be powerful.  I don’t have to be the person out in front to understand the potential impact of my influence.  It’s very gratifying for me to know the value my role has played even if nobody else ever does.  It’s like an inside secret between God and me and that’s cool.

3.  Being proactive is the best strategy.  Being proactive is better than being reactive because keeps me from feeling like a victim and allows me to be clear about my intentions and work toward the best possible outcome. Most people I’ve encountered tend to be very appreciative of a proactive approach.

4.  There is power in being quiet and listening.  Being quiet gives people more thinking space and helps to engage them in the discussion.  This can be far more beneficial than talking on many occasions.  This isn’t a time to zone out, but rather to be an active listener.  I’m convinced this is why we have two ears and one mouth.

5.  It’s not necessary to be a people pleaser. This doesn’t mean that a rebellious attitude is the way to win.  However, being bold enough to speak your mind is often a relief to others who might be thinking the same thing, but are too timid to say it.  This is good provided that I am respectful and value others who have different views or methods.  I can still honor the boundaries while living out my core values and expressing my unique gifts and talents.

6.  Most change happens incrementally.  And it can be the catalyst for long-term change.  Except for a dramatic life-changing event, step-by-step development is a good thing and the key is to be patient and diligent through the process.  Each step along the way can be used as a building block for the next step.

7.  Perfection is a myth.  Because perfection has an element of anxiety related to the idea of not being able to measure up, I now embrace an attitude of excellence.  As long as I am open to being redirected, I can move forward with confidence and put forth my best effort.  No longer do I fear mistakes because experience has taught me that they can be used to bring about powerful, positive growth in the end.

Spiritual perspective: At the end of the day leading myself is about honoring God and others who are made in His image.  The Message Bible* says it best in 1 Peter 2:17 – “Treat everyone you meet with dignity. Love your spiritual family. Revere God. Respect the government.”  Whenever we treat other people the way we would want to be treated, we’ll always make the right choice.  The key lies in taking time to consider what action would make possible the best outcome for everyone while paving the way for a clear conscience.

Truth For Your Life: What lessons have you learned from leading yourself?  How have you grown in the ability to lead yourself through your life experiences?  Have you gained insights that you were able to share with others to help them learn to lead themselves?

*Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson.

© Copyright 2010 Bridget Haymond.  All rights reserved.

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© 2010 Bridget Haymond ~ Identifying and igniting your gifts and strengths for a life of passion and purpose www.BridgetHaymond.com

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5 Responses to 7 Lessons Learned From Leading Myself
  1. Lyn
    May 31, 2012 | 5:11 am

    Put so beautifully!

    • Bridget Haymond
      May 31, 2012 | 12:16 pm

      Thank you Lyn, I’m glad you enjoyed the post 🙂

  2. Mark Oakes
    March 20, 2012 | 3:19 pm

    Great post! Well done!!

    Mark

    • Bridget Haymond
      March 22, 2012 | 12:57 am

      Thanks Mark – that means a lot coming from a leader like you!

  3. Steve-SuccessFactors
    December 28, 2010 | 4:33 pm

    Bridget, I love this article. You're so right that personal leadership does not always fit the extroverted up front picture we often paint. Your message about honoring people and honoring God being consistent with true leadership is truly inspirational.