A Leadership Column

This is the first in a series of posts on Leadership.

#1 Leadership of Self

Nothing positive can happen until someone decides to make a difference; to take some action. Leadership is never outside-in; it is always inside-out. Leadership begins with the “self.” In other words, you must master yourself. The single most significant place to begin is by understanding, respecting and applying the talent you have been given. Your talent holds solutions to problems that relate to that talent. Talent, for our purposes, is that which you do exceptionally well. You have always done this particular thing very well. Whenever you deliver this gift to others, they gain a positive outcome. When that takes place, you also receive satisfaction. What’s more, you strive to apply that talent as often as you can.

Although it isn’t always conscious, everything you do revolves around what you do well. But this goes beyond talent alone. Leadership of self involves how you think, what you say, your actions, and your responses to varied challenges. Successful leadership begins and ends with the self. Until a person is able to lead his own life, he is unprepared to expand beyond himself. The effective leader holds a clear sense of mission, something that overwhelms his life purpose. Leadership is subservient to mission. And mission holds back debilitating fear.

Consider: John Paul Jones was a hero in the revolutionary war.
He exemplified leadership of self.

“I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast; for I intend to go in harms way.”