Over the course of my career I’ve seen a lot of people in leadership roles. Interestingly, there haven’t been very many who have lived up to the leadership title. I’m sure you’ve seen this too.
Whether in the workforce, politics, or community or professional organizations people assume the reins of leadership but fail miserably in creating, articulating and achieving a vision. The leadership literature is replete with rationales, but there is a convergence of thinking that before one can successfully lead others, she must be able to lead herself. Translated: Know Yourself!
In helping people with career choices, one of my first questions is “what is your passion?” Surprisingly, a very small percentage of people can answer that question. How does someone make a career choice without understanding her passion, values or strengths? The answer is, “Well, probably not very well!”
How does a “Leader” lead without knowing her passion, values or strengths? The answer is, “Well, probably not very well!” Plato said over two thousand years ago “I must first know myself………. to be curious about that which is not my concern, while I am still in ignorance of my own self would be ridiculous.” It is safe to say that we have a large number of leaders who look pretty ridiculous.
Knowing yourself has been purported to be the most difficult lesson in the world (Cervantes). But, while difficult, it is a rewarding and fulfilling journey. The journey begins with a step….so don’t be afraid, take the first step and enjoy the journey!
Tools that you may find helpful for beginning your journey:
VIA Survey of Character Strengths: www.authentichappiness.com
TypeFocus Personality Type: http://www.free.typefocus.com/