Your Leadership Matters – Are You a Leader Who is “Follow Worthy”?
I have read a number of books on the issue of leadership – some great books. The key to leadership seems to be setting aside our ego and a focus on excellence at every level – from the way you live, as the leader, to the way you encourage and teach others to the point you become almost irrelevant – almost. When your focus on the deliverable to your customer is beyond expectation.
We lead ourselves first. We have to ask ourselves the question – are we someone we want others to follow? Are we someone that we would follow? If the people who work for us, did what we do, would they applauded or scolded, maybe even fired?
Is our work sloppy – our place of work a mess? Are we setting the example we want from others? Do we go the extra mile or do we pull up short and do the minimum required, expecting others to fill in the gaps? As I was reading Good to Great and the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, I was struck by the disciplines of the great leaders. How they continued to grow, personally. I was listening to another leader who said that he reads one book a week and has been doing so for almost 20 years. That’s commitment to personal development excellence.
So, I think we need to begin here – How do we become the leader we need to be that inspires others to follow us.
I believe that in order to become a great leader, we need to start with the right values. What is it we value most? Some will say – integrity is an important value but is it a value or a positive trait? I believe that a value is more forward and intrinsic than a trait. I value love but what does that mean? I believe that to love and to value it, is to understand what it means. Love is an overused term and is thrown around until it often loses its meaning. But what does it mean to love – even more important, what does it mean to love yourself?
Loving ourselves begins with taking care of ourselves in all areas of our lives, including – health, finances, emotions, relationships, spiritually and mentally.
When we love ourselves enough to do the work we need to do, we have become good self-leaders. A man or woman can’t lead others well, if they can’t first lead themselves. This is a cornerstone truth!
The question is – do you take care of your health? Finances? Emotional/Mental Health? Relationships? Spiritual? Are these your priorities? If so, knowing what you know about your personal practices, would you follow you in those areas of your life, if you had to follow someone?
If not, it’s time to develop a plan that is “follow worthy”.
Step One in this journey is to step back and truly evaluate your life. Do this from an unflinching, reporter perspective – take the emotions out of it and just report the facts. Look at each area of your life and report on the good things and the bad things. Have you ever done this before? It is very humbling but also very instructive for those who are dedicated to becoming the best version of themselves.
As you look at this report you are writing on yourself, what do you see? Are there things that you love? Are there things that shock you?
Tomorrow we will go to step 2 in this process of becoming follow-worthy. Follow along and share this with others.