“A man without decision of character can never be said to belong to himself . . . . He belongs to whatever can make captive of him.” ~ John Foster
What is personal leadership?
Simply put, it’s you being a strong leader of yourself. It’s you being in control of yourself on every level; being strong in character and integrity, every minute of everyday.
Leading well on a personal level is imperative to leading well on a professional level. The ones who don’t have the strength of character to lead themselves well day after day soon find that their corporate leadership erodes. The beginning of their demise begins on a personal, private level before it ever surfaces publicly.
Ensure that you’re leading strong personally so you can lead strong professionally.
4 keys to strong personal leadership:
- Doing the right thing, day after day and year after year regardless of short-term consequences or rewards. Don’t allow a quick short-term decision to jeopardize your long-term goals. Small compromises and excuses lead to bigger compromises and excuses. Eventually it becomes a question of character. Never allow your character to be questioned. Do the right thing – always, everyday.
- Build trust through your integrity. When you’re the same person “on stage and off” you don’t have to worry about who’s watching. And someone is always watching. Strong personal leadership means living your life in a way that is true to your very core. You’re a living, walking, breathing message. Ensure that there is no duplicity in your message. It has to be the same personally and professionally to build trust with those you work and live with.
- Know yourself. Know what makes you successful and know what is a stumbling block to you. Set yourself up for success. Never put yourself in a situation that would tempt you to compromise. Ever.
- Do what needs to be done. My dad would tell me that you have to do the unpleasant to have the pleasant. I found out he was right. You have to put in the work to have the reward whether it’s at the gym, the office or at home. To have good health you must exercise and eat well. To build a business or lead an organization you must invest the necessary time, energy and money. To maintain a happy home you must build and nurture relationships with your family. Do what’s required to get what’s desired.
To lead others well you must first lead yourself well. Do the right thing, build trust through integrity, know yourself and do what’s required to get what’s desired. Make a commitment to strong personal leadership every day.