what is personal leadership, part 2 of the video series from Leadership Excellence

In the second video on this topic, I want to again discuss with you the dynamic force of Personal Leadership Development.

In Just What Is Personal Leadership [Part 1], we discussed how personal leadership is performing a deep dive self-analysis within our own lives beginning with a mission statement. Just like a business needs purpose, guidance, and future direction through internal examination, so do our lives. 

Today, I will discuss some of the qualities or attributes of a person who embraces the personal leadership philosophy. As Leonardo Da Vinci once wrote, 

“He who cannot establish dominion over himself, will have no dominion over others.”  

Individuals who embrace the personal leadership philosophy are not perfect, nor do they pretend to be. They are human like everyone else. However, they do have a greater tendency to focus on these qualities:

1) Decisiveness

The process of creating your own life mission gives you a deeper sense of purpose. You know that you can at any time decide to alter the course of your life. No one can ever take that away from you. Every day the choice is always yours. You have the ability to steer the course you choose in the direction of where you desire to be today, tomorrow, or in a future time.

With a strong “internal locus of control” you believe that much of your success or failure is a result of the effort, hard work and learning you invest in your life. This tends to make you more pro-active in the decision-making process.

2) Character Driven

Character is a person’s mental and moral dispositions, manifested by his or her interaction with their environment, and with other people. Individuals drawn to the Personal Leadership philosophy understand that the power of choice also contains the principles of “cause and effect.” This means that qualities like integrity, honesty, fairness, generosity, humility and kindness bring positive long-term results, while qualities like immorality, lying, manipulation, selfishness, narcissism and rudeness bring negative short and long-term results. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said he dreamed that his four children would “one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

One can make a case for the improvement in civil rights since these words were spoken in 1963, but unfortunately… a different case can be made for the decline in mental and moral character since that time.
A simple definition of character is the way we act when we don’t think anyone is watching, or could ever know.

3) Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is often referred to as (EI) and refers to one’s ability to evaluate, control and perceive emotions. There is some debate on whether emotional intelligence can be learned and strengthened, or if it’s an inborn characteristic.

The ability to control and express our own emotions is critical, but equally important is our ability to interpret, understand, and maturely respond to the emotions of others. Psychologists refer to this ability as emotional intelligence, and some researchers even suggest that it can be more important than IQ in your overall success in life. 

As the Harvard Medical School states on their website, “Emotional intelligence can have a surprisingly powerful effect on our lives, from our ability to foster long-term relationships with friends and romantic partners to whether we’re able to succeed in school and pursue meaningful work that gives us a sense of purpose.” Those who accept a Personal Leadership philosophy become keenly aware of their EI and seek to learn more about it, while strengthening it within themselves.

4) Self-Discipline

This is the ability to say “no” to ourselves and others when necessary. Inherent in a Personal Leadership philosophy is the knowledge that making an investment in yourself, or your dreams takes time and patience. Like a financial investment, personal development grows when it is applied consistently over a longer period of time. Seeking a long-term benefit is preferred over short-term gain because the results and fulfillment are longer-lasting and more satisfying. There is no shortcut to lasting success and self-actualization.

5) Seeking Balance

When you embrace the Personal Leadership philosophy you appreciate the need to live a life of balance.

From a human perspective, balance is having the right amount of a quality — not too much or too little, which leads to stability, harmony or evenness. 

We are all human beings prone to dysfunction. When we become obsessive, addictive or compulsive about anything… these can derail our progress and our goals. If you have a serious emotional or mental struggle, please seek professional medical advice because you are worth it, and help is available.

Additionally, an unbalanced lifestyle in either our personal relationships, physical health, financial wellbeing, social behavior or spirituality can be detrimental to our happiness and achievements.  

To use the metaphor of an automotive tire, when a tire is unbalanced you’ll experience uneven wear, potential steering issues, increased road noise and greater fuel consumption. The same is true of us. A lack of balance over the long hall can harm our health, sap our energy, and distract us on the road of life.

So those are five qualities or attributes of a person who embraces the Personal Leadership philosophy. 

This is Greg Thomas on behalf of Leadership Excellence Ltd. reminding you that it was Henry David Thoreau who wrote, “What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives within us.”

See you next time!


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