“The best gift you can give people you lead is a healthy, energized, fully humble, and focused self.”
I recently read some work by Daniel Goleman, the author of landmark best-seller: Emotional Intelligence. Goleman has spent much of his time analyzing why only a small percentage of leaders develop to their fullest potential while most hit a plateau far beneath what one might expect from them.
His conclusion? The difference is self-leadership. He calls it Emotional Self Control. According to Goleman, this form of self-control is exhibited by leaders when they persevere in leadership despite overwhelming opposition or discouragement. When they refuse to give up during tough times, when they manage to hold their ego at bay, when they stay focused on their mission rather than being distracted by other people’s agendas – these are the moments that make a leader truly a cut above.
Goleman contends that exceptional leaders distinguish themselves because they know their strengths and limits, and weaknesses.
As I read Goleman’s data, I thought about my own self-leadership. Here is my attempt to better lead myself.
- I try to practice intense leadership activities quickly followed by time set aside for rest and recovery
- I have been setting aside 60-90 minutes each week for reflection and solitude
- I have found a quiet place by a park where I recalibrate my mind, my motives, and remind myself of my calling
- I established my Eight Key Characteristics of Self-Leadership
- Is my vision clear?
- Is my passion hot?
- Am I developing my gifts?
- Is my character solid?
- Is my pride subdued?
- Am I overcoming my fears?
- Is my soul being fed?
- Is my pace sustainable?
Can you answer these questions honestly? How are you doing? Take a little time to lead yourself – it is the best gift you can give to others
Leading myself – Steve Gutzler
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