How to Become the Leader You Would Like to Follow
Personal leadership is about influencing and leading yourself foremost –before leading others
Leadership is not easy. From a young age, most of us are not really trained to be leaders. We’re actually trained to be followers, due to our schooling and how we were raised. To change from being a follower to being a leader, you need:
- either a good mentor and/or
- a leadership coach, and/or
- education so you can own your own personal leadership
Personal-leadership coaching is designed to find or hone leadership potential within you. To support you in becoming more leader-like, both inside and out, in an authentic way. Questions are answered on how to be self-directed, on what areas need development– emotionally, mentally, socially, physically, or communication-wise– as well as on how to determine and fully cultivate your potential.
It is wise to choose a coach who can objectively yet specifically focus on you because a general course often trains “leaders” to follow a certain thinking process. In reality, this approach just scratches the surface. You don’t just want to know about the tip of the iceberg: what is below the surface? It is necessary to understand who you are, consciously and unconsciously, so that you know how best to maximize your potential. Becoming a leader is all about knowing how to enjoy being your personal best (choosing greatness), learning, listening, taking risks, daring to show up, making the hard choices and wise decisions. Thus discerning why you want what you want.
From this kind of strong foundation, you can lead yourself (and influence others, as well, if that is what you aspire to do.)
Now, society expects a leader in a leadership position to be an outstanding citizen, possessing integrity, clarity, and wisdom. Society expects that a leader will not abuse her or his power. (Don’t we read fairy tales about heroic inspiring role models with our kids because we want them to understand that there is a better way to be?)
My team and I often come across unrealistically high expectations placed on leaders working in companies and communities. Partly that is because as a society, we project a lot of idealistic behaviors, regarding what we expect leaders to do for us. By this, I mean that we want them to take responsibility for solving all our problems for us.
These demanding and unrealistic expectations result in:
- *The creation of a situation in which the followers that hold on to the unrealistic expectations get confused and are taken away from their own responsibilities, which completely thwarts the ability to make leadership their personal quest–to become a leader in their own right.
- *A failure to recognize that we and all other leaders are only human. A leader can’t possibly have all the answers all the time. Expecting this of a leader, not recognizing that they, too, have human vulnerabilities, can set them up for failure. Realistically, a leader needs a good team in place to make things happen. We could be part of that great team!
- *Believing the unrealistically high expectations can lead us, leaders, away from what we can do, from what we can take on, away from our authenticity, away from our personal leadership.
If you or your team(member) are ready to be coached in personal leadership, becoming the leader you would like to follow, email us today: firstname.lastname@example.org and we will schedule a conversation with you.
Pic by Aziz Acharki @ Unsplash