Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Personal Leadership... what is it and how does it apply to me?

Personal leadership is the desire of an individual to take charge of his or her own life. Personal leaders realize that leadership is not a position or title, but an outlook on life and their role in the world. The best way to describe personal leadership is to discuss some of its desired traits. Like most things worth having, these do not come easily to a person. On the other hand, living a philosophy of personal leadership does not require a magical formula. Nor is it available to only a few. It is actually available to most but what it requires is a commitment to balance, a sense of purpose and values. If personal leadership had a motto it would be this, “Before I seek to change or motivate others I must first learn to change and motivate myself. I must first become the change I wish to see in others.”

Personal leaders have a game plan for their life. Call it what you will…personal mission statement, life strategic plan, setting of goals or a personal punch list…it is all about giving your life direction or establishing a clear path. Unfortunately, most people live their lives like a raft floating in the ocean. They bob up and down, left and right, over and under, depending on the tempest of the sea. They become victims of circumstances and allow time to make decisions they are unwilling to make for themselves. Personal leaders, however, are absolutely convinced they have a great degree of control over their own outcomes and circumstances. They are not about to leave their future in the hands of “time and chance.”

The sea change they look forward to is the one that occurs when they have learned something new and decide to now make it a part of their life. Just like an athlete needs a game plan to excel, so does a personal leader. A mental break-through comes when we take the vague ideas and goals rolling around in our head and put them on paper as a personal mission statement! When done correctly and reviewed often it has the potential to magnify our focus and increase our desire for achievement at a higher level.

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