Leaders come from all walks of life. Leaders are not born; they are developed. some people believe that leadership is assigned by title. I believe leadership is a choice and we all have it. It starts with believing you are a leader and living your life as an example – expecting the best from yourself. The most important ingredient in becoming a leader is that you have a following or a “tribe”.
A following starts with one person. Tribes are formed by having an individual or a group of people holding a common vision or belief in a message or movement that people want to be a part of. Think about who you admire or follow. What qualities do they possess? What is it about these leaders that draws you to them? Is it their outward appearance or the way they express themselves? Confidence is an inner game that influences a leader’s decisions and actions. A leader believes in themselves and their vision; this is demonstrated by their actions and the results they get.
Your inner game is about how you get the best out of yourself as a leader. Before you expect others to give the best of themselves, you must start with expecting more of yourself. When I speak about being a leader, I mean as a leader in your family, office, business, organization, and community. Leadership is not limited to the board room. Your leadership starts with understanding yourself and then understanding others. In essence, your leadership is influenced by your emotional intelligence.
How you think and act influences the outcomes you get. Even though it seems like no one is watching or paying attention, there are people who are watching you as a role model. They are waiting for you to share your vision and take action so they may learn from you and become a part of it. Most of all, they want to know how it impacts them. Will following you increase their happiness or make them more fulfilled? Will they be inspired to take action?
Your emotions impact your thoughts and your thoughts impact how you act. Those thoughts are determined by the stories you tell yourself about your experiences. The stories can be could or they can be bad – it all depends on your perception.
Telling stories is how we make sense of our experiences. If you are self-reflective you will try to understand what happened and why it may have occurred as you try to rationalize your outcomes. We all have stories from our school days, our first job, first boss, the presentation that went wrong, and the challenges of teamwork.
My first boss wanted to protect me from the choices she made in her life so I would not make the same choices. I thought I had my own parent for that but she thought she needed to share her story. I was no where near from being on the same path or choices she had made. Our decisions and thinking were not aligned. I can dwell on the story as to whether or not she was a good boss or bad boss or I can choose to look for the lesson and remind myself that I am accountable and responsible for my own actions. After all, a story is just that – a story that you tell yourself!
Remember it is your story and you have the ability to change the story. You have choices. A leader must know their strengths and limitations.
- What are your strengths?
- What are your limitations?
- What do you believe yourself to be capable of?
- What do you feel is missing from your leadership?
What got you to where you are will not get you to the next level. You need to get clear about what you want, identify the gaps, and step into who you need to be. Do you need to grow your knowledge, develop your skills, and fine tune you abilities? Depending on what you need, these days you can find many resources to support you through books and the internet that are available 24/7 through websites and apps like Udemy and Coursera.
Your inner game influences how you show up in the world. First of all – you need to see yourself as a leader. Focus on your daily habits and take intentional actions toward what you want to achieve. How are you going to hold yourself accountable? Are you going to keep a log, share it with your spouse, partner, or close friend? It is all the small acts that add up in the end. Who do you want to show up as? What do you want people to remember you for?As a coach, it is my role to help you understand the impact of your story and how it has played a part in shaping your thoughts and actions and where you are today.
Everything starts with a choice. What will your next one be?
DEBRA KASOWSKI, BScN CEC is an award-winning best-selling author, transformational speaker, blogger, and Certified Executive Coach. She has a heart of a teacher and is certified in Appreciative Inquiry and Emotional Intelligence. She is a contributing writer for Diversity Magazine and Fabulous at 50 magazine. Debra Kasowski International helps executives, entrepreneurs, and organizations boost their productivity, performance, and profits. It all starts with people and passion. www.debrakasowski.com