If you are going to excel as a leader of other people, you must first excel at leading yourself. And that begins with knowing who you are.
Do you know what guides and inspires you? If not, then you are lacking self-awareness, and your leadership is probably suffering as a result.
Knowing who you are begins with clarifying your purpose—your reason for existence. If you read anything on leadership these days, you are probably tired of reading about purpose. I understand. However, the reason it’s talked about so much is because it’s that important! You have to know the core foundational reason for your existence…it’s what makes you unique, and it drives everything you do.
Next you have to be crystal clear about your core values—the beliefs that guide your behavior. Without clear values that help you navigate the challenges each day brings, you will be unable to make decisions with conviction. Leaders who cannot make decisions are not really leaders.
Lastly, determine what inspires passion in you—this is your vision. When you think of the future, what do you see? What excites you? There must be something that drives and challenges you to accomplish something bigger than yourself.
Purpose, values, and vision. Great leaders get clear about each of these for their own life. If you want to be a better leader of others, first start with yourself by making sure you have clarity about each of these core foundational elements of self-leadership.
“You cannot be a leader, and ask other people to follow you, unless you know how to follow, too.” – Sam Rayburn
“The task of leadership is not to put greatness into humanity, but to elicit it, for the greatness is already there.” – John Buchan