Leadership is a strange concept to say the least, mostly because what we have been taught about leadership will never make us true leaders. Academic ideas of what leadership is, that which is taught about the theories of leadership, are actually so far from the truth about leadership that they should be outlawed. Einstein said that if you cannot explain something to a six year old you don’t know your subject well enough. Unfortunately for leadership development, academics never listen to academics, they only try to prove each other wrong at the expense of the people who trust them to be the clever teachers.
They defend the idea of teaching academic leadership by saying ‘people are complex’ and we will never understand people fully. I agree people are complex, but the subject of leadership is not complex, it’s the academics who make the subject complex. The reason is that if we are able to make something complex and we can convince people they need to learn about it – well then we will have work forever, or so they think! Now if you truly believe that bull, then frankly you don’t deserve your hard earned money and the academics are welcome to steal from you.
Leadership is simple, it’s the people who are complex. It is not complex – leadership is a relationship with yourself and when you are able to see yourself as a person of value, you have potential of becoming valuable to others. People will notice you for your authentic self (the secure person who is at peace with yourself) and this example will cause them to be different. The most important aspect of self leadership is What do YOU think, when YOU think about YOU? Without self leadership there is no leadership, if we cannot deal with rejection and our insecurities (yes we all have a few) are worn on our sleeves, we will struggle to influence ourselves to success. If we cannot influence ourselves to change, then how do we think we will ever influence others?
Ultimately we will be judged for the difference we make in the lives of others, but we should first realise that we need to make a difference in our own lives, by becoming more secure within ourselves so that we can demonstrate the emotional intelligence that is required for us to make a significant impact on our world.
The challenge is laid down … Start today by leading yourself, ask yourself if you would follow you? Is your example worth following? No one said it would be easy, but then we would not want to follow it anyway. Let’s be who we were created to be and make a difference in our world, then it may be possible to make a difference in the world!