Sep 02, 2014

Leading Yourself: A 4-Step Formula

If you’ve ever followed someone while driving so that they could lead you to a destination, you know it can be fulfilling or it can be extremely frustrating. Fulfilling if they get you where you want to go in a reasonable amount of time and without incident. Frustrating if they aren’t quite sure where they’re going themselves, lead at the wrong pace, and take more time to get you there than had you found the way on your own. Remember a time like that?

The same is true of leading in other areas of life, especially in business. Today’s business world moves quickly and succinctly. When a leader’s vision isn’t fully clear and the strategy isn’t crisp, then those following will feel betrayed, abandoned, and left wanting, just like that time you followed someone in your car that really didn’t know where they were going. Here is where it is so very important that a leader has learnt to lead themselves, first, and know where they are going so that they can lead others better. So, how does a leader learn to lead themselves?

Here is a four-step formula:

      Know their core values
      Know their personal mission in life
      Know their personal vision of their life
    Own the identity that they’ve created

Know their core values. Without a strong foundation, a building will eventually crumble and fall. There must be a strong basis for it to stand upon. The same is true of people, especially those that lead others. With the enormous stress and pressure to make great decisions in a brief amount of time, leaders that really know what they value most are the ones that find these decisions easier to make. Why? Because they have a foundation, a touchstone, that they can go to for clarity at any time. Then the decisions they make are aligned with who they are at their core and this results in an ability to lead with more confidence, integrity, and clarity.

Know their personal mission in life. With clarity and strength of knowing their core values, they can now have a clear mission of how they will contribute to the lives of others and the world. This gives them a sense of purpose and a direction for their drive and passions.

Know their personal vision of their life. With their core values and mission aligned, a strong and vivid vision of their life can be cast out in front of them. Their goals and strategies in life are congruent with this vision and are strengthened as their vision becomes their reality.

Own the identity that goes with the other three areas. Within the first three steps a person creates an identity, or discovers their true identity that had lain covered by the many roles they play in life. What they begin to realize and appreciate is the PERSONAL POWER they now have. The former identity that may have vacillated with other’s opinions and the ever-changing world around them begins to evaporate. They can now own their true identity. They find that their core is the center of POWER in their world. Their thoughts, emotions, and even their body are all tools used to create their world. And, because these are only tools to accomplish their will, they are in control them.

Does this sound like someone who you would follow? An authentic and inspirational leader that is in control and has the vision, not only of her/his own life, but of where she/he has a vision of taking you along with them? This is the type of person and leader people willingly follow and want to follow. This is the type of person and leader people are inspired to give beyond their hands and their backs, they give their minds and hearts, as well.

If you would like to learn more about how you can implement this formula in your personal and business life, please contact me.

Creating life in forward motion,
Dr. Edward Lewellen