I find it interesting that so much leadership training and writing is geared towards actions designed to assist in leading other people or teams, with little emphasis on the personal leadership needed to manage one’s own self. Not to discount the value of that information, but much of it is of little value without the ability to lead one’s self first.
Several years ago, I was challenged to think of one of the most influential leaders in my life and then make a list of the things that stood out to me as positive leadership traits, respectively. Things like credibility, honesty, integrity, humility, openness, wisdom, willingness to help, drive to succeed, fairness, etc., were found on my list of positive traits.
Interestingly, few of these things are taught in “how-to” leadership books (by-and-large), and many of these things are not obtainable from a book or seminar on leadership. If you tend to have issues with honesty or openness, the odds of learning those traits from a book are slim. In order to have these traits, a person must have spent a considerable amount of time focusing internally and identifying what character traits need to be maintained, and what needs to be developed further.
This is not meant to be depressing, it is simply meant to show that there is no magic formula for leadership success, complete with a certain list of actions that will make you a great leader. The foundations of leadership are built on personal character traits.
We’ll talk more about development of personal character in the future, so subscribe or check back here regularly!