Leading and leadership is a choice.  It’s about so much more than a title or position.  It’s person-centred and starts with an internal focus.  

What I’ve learned in all my time as a working adult - as a staff member, a manager, solo-professional, business owner, trainer, author, speaker and coach - is that ALL individuals can have a much greater impact when they know and understand themselves better.  When they know what they want and why.  When they look after their own needs.

Because these things help develop a well of physical, emotional, and spiritual strength that drives personal achievement, and in the process often inspires others to follow.

I’m sure we all know managers who don’t lead or inspire.  

And if you think about it, I’m sure you also know someone who is not a leader or manager in their work, but who inspires you.  Someone you want to listen to?  Someone you would follow?

And what I know is that we all have the capacity to lead, even if simply ourselves.  We may not all aspire to be leaders or managers at work, to take the lead in our organisations or communities.  Yet we all have within us what we need to lead ourselves and to lead our families.

We may simply need support to identify and enhance our strengths; to remove barriers that get in the way of us performing the way we want; and to build a foundation of support across our life as a whole, not simply our work.

Because often it’s not a lack of skill that will detract from you leading effectively.  It’s the rest of the stuff you’ve got going on in your life, like…

  • Being exhausted from overwork or lack of sleep.  It’s difficult to lead when you’re feeling like this.
  • Feeling burned out or in a state of overwhelm with work piling up and you having difficulty saying ’no’.  It’s difficult to inspire others when you’re operating from this low emotional state.
  • Feeling sluggish because you’ve eaten too much chocolate, drunk too much wine, or not moved from the couch all night.  Or
  • Feeling miserable after a snide comment or email from a boss or loved one.

It’s these kinds of things that become real barriers to success.  

If you’re in a management position, all the management techniques in the world won’t help without self-leadership and the support you need to thrive in your everyday life.

And if you simply want to get better at leading yourself, then understanding yourself, getting clear on what you really want, and looking after yourself and your own needs are the best way to start.  Focusing on these will help you develop your well of physical, emotional and spiritual strength, and build a foundation of support in your life.

And it’s who you’re BEing and your actions rather than your thoughts or words, or the position you hold, that will drive your achievement.

And in the process you might inspire others too.  Because in the words of John Quincy Adams (6th US President)

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”

If you’d like to explore leadership more fully you might wish to check out my book Stepping into Success?  It will help you get a deeper understanding of yourself and how to look after your own needs and get out of your own way, in order to build your personal leadership foundation.