So if Personal Leadership is the only leadership that’s going to matter in the 21st Century, what is it and why does it matter so much?
Let’s start with why!
If you missed my last post, that’s a quote from Peter Drucker and if you think he’s one of the various current commentators on Much Ado About Brexit, unfortunately I need to enlighten you that he died over 10 years ago. Described as a writer, a professor, a management consultant and a ‘social ecologist’, he was once described as “the man who invented management’. He was certainly influential in the business world and his 39 books (no, I haven’t read them all!) are reputed to have predicted many of the major developments of the 20th century. It doesn’t seem too much of a mental stretch, therefore, to consider that he might have been right about his prediction for the 21st century too!
I have a feeling I’ll return to Much Ado About Brexit in a subsequent post, so I’m not going to say much more about it here. Nonetheless the reason why there is ‘much ado’ is because of the level of uncertainty that currently exists for us here in Britain. Not only are we wondering what the impact will be but we are still wondering what it even means. Whatever the meaning, or ultimate conclusion, events of the last few weeks have shown we are certainly living in extraordinary times.
I saw a quote today (thanks Ralph!) that sums up perfectly the importance of personal leadership in these extraordinary times. The quote is from Nathaniel Branden, a life-long lecturer on self esteem. (And if, as a leader, you haven’t read his book The Art of Living Consciously – add it to your reading list now!)
Nathaniel says: “In the past two or three decades, extraordinary developments have occurred in the world. We now live in a global economy characterised by rapid change and technological breakthroughs, and an unprecedented level of competiveness. Everyone in business knows this. What is not understood is that these developments ask for a greater capacity for innovation, self management, personal responsibility and self direction”.
Could there be a better introduction to the need for personal leadership and what it is?!
So what is Personal Leadership?
Personal Leadership is taking responsibility. That’s what I meant in my last post when I said it’s about being the CEO of your business and/or your life. It’s about showing up consistently, setting a direction, taking determined action and stepping up as a leader. Taking the lead in your own life. Writing your own daring ending, as the wonderful Brene Brown would say.
Personal leadership is a journey of self discovery. We learn what motivates us. We come face to face with the values that drive us – and we identify those values that we need to adopt if we want to take that next step up. We learn to own our talents and strengths, and to openly and honestly declare and live out the impact that we want to have in the world – and the legacy we want to leave behind.
Personal leadership is recognising that our internal environment – our thoughts & beliefs, our emotions and habits, our values and goals – are every bit as important as the external environment in which we work and live. That’s why it’s about leading from the inside out. It starts with what goes in our mind.
If you want to be unstoppable, it starts on the inside. Personal leadership is an inside out thing. It is absolutely true that What we think, we become. The mind is everything. (Buddha).
Personal leadership starts with our thinking, and I’m going to talk about the power of thought in a subsequent post. But I do want to leave you with a question to consider. What are you allowing your mind to create right now? Your thoughts have the power to create your success, but thoughts can sabotage our success too.
Begin to notice what you are CHOOSING to think about. Which thoughts serve you well and which thoughts would you do better to let go of?
How could your mind serve you better in your journey to be unstoppable today?
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