Making Personal Leadership Personal

Tags: Leadership, Leadership Development, Personal Leadership

I believe that personal leadership is the corner-stone on which any form of public leadership is build.  If you are not able to lead yourself by applying a few basic disciplined principles in your personal life, you’re success as a public leader will not last for an extended period.

Personal Leadership Development is a Continuous Process

Mike Figliuolo’s book One Piece of Paper, recently challenged my thinking around personal leadership again.  I enjoyed something that all leaders should engage in continuously.

Effective Personal Leadership deals with matters of personal motivation, personal vision, and governing principles whereby you live your life.

Personal Leadership Requires Self-Motivation

Successful leadership relies strongly on the leader motivating people to work in unison towards a common goal.  The motivation has to start with the leader.  If the leader is a motivated exited person, some of that naturally rubs off on the rest of the organization, without putting too much effort into it.

The converse is also true.  If you cannot even motivate yourself, it is impossible to motivate other people.  In fact your lack of motivation will rub off on the rest of the organization.

To keep your personal motivation levels high, regularly ask yourself, “Why do you do what you do?”  Answering this question honestly will not only keep you clear on what you need to do, but also helps you to remember the reason you lead your team or organization.

Personal Leadership Develops a Personal Vision

Leading imply a destination.  Therefore it is important for leaders to formulate and communicate a clearly defined vision.  This raises the question: “Do you know where you are headed?”  “Do you know how your future will look like?”

Answering these questions will help you clarify what it is you want to achieve and to formulate your personal life vision.  This is important, because if you cannot formulate a personal vision it is impossible to formulate a clear vision for the organization or team you are leading.  Make sure you know where you are going, before you attempt to share a daring vision with your team.

Personal Leadership Defines Guiding Principles

When the pressure is on, how do you keep our head?  During difficult times and decisions becomes tough, people look to the leader for stability and guidance.  If you want to keep the organization or team on course, you have to ask yourself, “What keeps me on course?”

It is necessary to have guidance.  It is important to have a point of reference to help with decision-making in difficult times.  When you define these guiding principles for yourself as part of your personal leadership, it is much easier to offer guidance to your team.

Personal Leadership Deals with Failure

“Why do we fall down, Master Bruce?  So we can learn to pick ourselves up.” Alfred, Batman’s Butler.  We can all be certain about failure.  It will happen with everyone at some stage.  Although painful, failure is not the end of the world.

You need to ask yourself, “What do you do when you fall down?”  How do you pick yourself up and face the world again after a failure?  Once you find the answer to these questions, it becomes easier to deal in a constructive why with failure.

Personal Leadership Sets a Standard for Accountability

To whom do you answer?  If you expect people in your organization or team to answer to you in terms of accountability, where does your accountability lie?  As a leader, you have to set the standard of accountability.  This implies that you are accountable to the same standard.

Setting a standard of accountability for yourself and keeping yourself to this standard, communicates to your team that the same standard applies to everyone, including you.  Personal accountability is an important building block in a solid personal leadership foundation.

Personal leadership is the foundation on which you build sustainability for your public leadership.  You cannot expect the members of your team or organization to adhere to a higher standard as what you set for yourself.  The measure of success or the lack thereof you experience in your public leadership is a direct result of the level of personal leadership you practice and the measure to which you have mastered the above-mentioned skill set.