There are many outward roles and functions in a leadership position. Typically, the outward outshines the inward workings of leadership. This is the reason why a lot of leaders spend most of their time, energy, and focus on the outward aspects of leadership. Or, what people can see. The problem though, is that the inward workings or functions of a person drive the outward, consciously or unconsciously, 100 percent of the time. Often, a leader can forsake or not place enough attention on themselves, who they are as a person because they are spending too much time on outward results. It takes hard work to stop long enough to look into who you truly are as a person and courage to accept what you see. Or, what people can’t see, at least right away.
This is why the secret of leadership starts with knowing and accepting yourself. You have to truly know and accept yourself if you want to be an effective leader who influences those around you. In The Leadership Code the authors said,
The ultimate rule of leadership is to knowing yourself. If you are not grounded through your values and beliefs, credible through your judgment, emotionally mature through your ability to analyze yourself and connect with others, and willing to learn and grow as a leader, you will not be prepared to be a strategist, executor, talent manager, or human capital developer. Who you are becomes a key predictor of what you can help others to become. When you have personal insights into yourself, you will be more able to lead others.
Let’s look into both knowing and accepting yourself.
Having the personal insight into yourself means you know and are aware of your personality, emotional tendencies, strengths, weakness, and the deep rooted elements that drive you. You need to take the time to learn about yourself and how you have been uniquely created. A person can discover themselves through self-reflection, personal evaluation, digging up and resolving any life milestones or issues that have shaped them into the person they are today, and investigating and learning about the above personal insight areas. In time you will discover yourself and know how you have been created. You can then make any necessary changes or focus more of your attention on certain characteristics or qualities.
Pastor and author Joel Osteen said “Don’t ever criticize yourself. Don’t go around all day long thinking, ‘I’m unattractive, I’m slow, I’m not as smart as my brother.’ God wasn’t having a bad day when he made you… If you don’t love yourself in the right way, you can’t love your neighbor. You can’t be as good as you are supposed to be.” Knowing yourself is only the first step, the next is just as if not more crucial. You have to love and accept yourself. Being content and comfortable with how you have been uniquely created. When you love yourself it will allow you to love and effectively lead other people. Spend your time concentrating on the good aspects of your life and not on the bad. Focus on, highlight, and think on the qualities, talents, and attributes that make you unique while overlooking your flaws, imperfections, or weakness. John Wooden said, “Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”
Questions: Do you truly know and accept yourself? What benefits have you seen from those two areas?
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