As an Entrepreneur, Husband and Father it's imperative to hone both my leadership skills. I've studied leadership and high performance inside and out. I've practiced both the physical sciences and the mindsets in business and personal settings. In my own experience as a business leader as well as developing new leaders I've discovered one simple, yet important fact. Your leadership journey begins with this rewarding first step.
Clearly, there are many decisions to be made as a leader, but the first step is to make a conscious decision to accept that we are in control of our own life - to choose how we respond. Events, society, or family history does not pave who we are. We decide. We choose to lead. Ourselves. Others. Accept this as reality and we are accepting the leadership role.
When we make the decision to choose leadership, we increase our productivity and become a natural leader through our actions. It is not enough to simply have an organizational title listed on the corporate ladder or just occupying a position of leadership. Leadership often occurs way before you gain a title. Becoming a leader usually transpires prior to the opportunity to influence others from a position of power.
You see there are leaders and there are those who lead. Leadership arises when we first choose to lead ourselves, when we first decide to become self-aware and proactive. It happens when we agree to no longer be dependent upon someone else, others or some other "thing", but rather to become independent and interdependent. We must commit to this choice.
Day after day many people choose to make this important commitment. They make the choice to lead, exercising vast influence, without being in a so-called "leadership" position. They motivate and inspire people not by power or by position title, but because they know who they are, they know what they want and they do what it takes to get there.
In making the choice to lead, we are taking responsibility for ourselves first, which means we are committed daily to working on our own personal and professional development to "lay the bricks" of our vision. If we cannot lead and develop ourselves, we will fail in leading and developing others.
Choice is not simply taking initiative, but it is when we decide we're going to make things happen for ourselves. It is when we take responsibility and say "I'm in control". It is when we are confident in our guiding principles and lead inside-out. We don't let circumstances or outside conditions control us, our thoughts, or our feelings. We don't procrastinate, make excuses, or point fingers.
Once we embrace this choice, we are on our way to becoming a truly inspirational and successful leader. We recognize that we will be criticized in our leadership role, but we will not fear criticism. We will realize that our decisions may not always be the most popular, but understand this comes with the territory. When we make this choice...we will soon discover the rewards of leading are well worth it. When did you choose to take leadership of your life and what impact has it made for you?