To become a leader for others, become a leader to yourself first.

I believe that the greatest truths of the universe are not somewhere outside, among the stars or planets. They are hidden deep within us, in the majesty of our heart, mind and soul. Until we understand ourselves, we will not be able to understand what surrounds us. – Anita Morgiani “Dying To Be Me”

In order to go to a better future, set worthy goals and successfully overcome obstacles, a person must, first of all, learn to manage his own life. Often, leadership leads to a long way. And to stay motivated and full of energy, people need to become leaders for themselves.

Last week, I sat down at a virtual roundtable with:

 

  • Bob and Greg Vanurek of @TripleCrownLead, co-authors of Triple Crown Leadership. Bob has been a CEO or senior executive at many public companies and has also taught leadership training at the university. Greg co-authored three books and now teaches at the Stockholm Business School and the Royal Technical Institute.

  • John Baldoni, @JohnBaldoni, author of 10 books, including Leadership with Purpose. He is a globally recognized business coach, author and lecturer. In 2012, Leadership Gurus International ranked John 10th on the list of global leadership gurus.

 

Based on our roundtable discussions, I’ve chosen three key points to help start the path to leadership with yourself:

 

1. Mind vs. Heart

 

When to listen to the voice of reason and when to follow your heart?

Bob and Greg Vanureki: “The famous writer and teacher Parker Palmer revealed the essence of the ‘heart’ when he wrote that it is the center of human existence, a place where will and intellect, values and feelings, intuition and worldview – all merge together. It is the source of human integrity. And the courage to lead someone comes from the heart.”

The heart embraces what inspires people, helps to overcome obstacles and makes them move towards victory. The faculties of the mind are rationality and logic. He strives for order using managerial skills and tools.

The ability to use the abilities of the mind and heart is necessary for a good leader. When a leader is faced with a difficult choice, especially regarding an ethical dilemma, he will ask himself whether this choice will be:

 

  • Logical, “reasonable” with a certain risk/benefit coefficient (reason).

  • Coincide with his personal values and the values he shares with his colleagues (heart).

  • Something he can live with if the choice is known to everyone (the heart).

  • To serve his partners, not his ego (heart).

 

Experience tells us that when the mind and heart lead us in different directions, following the second will be a wiser decision.”

 

2. Leadership with the goal

 

What does it mean to lead someone to a goal?

John Baldoni: “The goal is a bottomless well from which leaders can safely draw to unlock the potential of their organization. Successful organizations, above all, need leaders who know themselves; that is, they have an internal compass that leads them in the right direction. Many leaders never think about it. It is very important to take some time to realize what you want to do, why it is necessary and how to implement your plans.

A leader’s goal serves as a guiding star that leads people in the right direction. It helps to create:

 

  • vision – where the organization is going;

  • the mission – which it fulfills; and

  • values – that unite the team.

 

Leaders use a common purpose to bring people together.”

 

3. The Power of Selflessness

 

How not to go off the course of life?

Faisal Hawke: “Hard work CANNOT be replaced by anything. Almost all successful people work harder than most can imagine. As Business Insider reports, “Athletes like Michael Jordan and CEOs like Howard Schultz are all equally known for getting up early and working toward their goals while other people are still in bed.”

I call it selflessness or “SHADHONA.” In Sanskrit, “SHADHONA” means “a disciplined movement toward the purpose of one’s life.” I was born near the birthplace of the Buddha. Sages and monks still argue about aspirations, selflessness and duty. With my closeness to Eastern philosophy, I believe that we can only learn to manage our own lives when our selflessness becomes discipline.

Based on the Buddha’s teachings, I believe that selflessness begins with:

 

  • the right effort – without difficulty you can not pull the fish out of the pond;

  • awareness – active observation and following the chosen path; and

  • proper concentration – on positive thoughts and actions.

 

Although we cannot control everything with our willpower alone, we are able to pursue our life purpose in a rejected manner. And as a result, our dedication will make us better leaders. You can’t lead someone without being an example.”

As Stephen Covey eloquently put it, “Personal leadership is not a one-time action. This is a continuous process of working on ourselves, in which we must clearly see our goals and values, and make sure that our activities do not go against our worldview. “

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