A key issue amongst corporate professionals is that of self-leadership. Often led by ego they swing erratically and miss out on leading themselves properly. If one is unable to lead self then, as a leader, how can one lead others?
To lead oneself there has to be clarity in terms of what one wants. It starts with who are you and what kind of leader do you want to be and what kind of life do you want to lead. It’s absolutely necessary to have a strong vision for oneself. Without purpose it’s hard to stay motivated and to be able to get up when knocked down. The purpose is the motivation to try and go forward. It helps knowing how one wants to be perceived as a leader. That then brings up the required behaviour which helps in creating that perception.
The starting point is with defining self. Often professionals define their identity as their job function or designation. Which is not them as a person.
Two key behaviour traits help in defining oneself. Tenacity & grit which help one to stay focused all the way, through thick and thin, to reach their goals. Here it’s important to remember that the body, mind and emotions are all inter-connected. What happens to one is going to affect the other. Starting with the words you use and the thoughts you have. Our thoughts and words translate into action which then shape your outcomes.
The next is understanding and controlling your emotions. As humans we experience a range of emotions. When those are negative you should be able to recognise it as such and then cap the time on that emotion. Without that it has the ability to impact your action.
Then comes movement or how you carry yourself. Posture impacts moods and thoughts. When one is mindful and aware of how posture plays and makes an effort to use the right postures, it impacts emotion and behaviour. With time this becomes a practiced habit that shows up as a behaviour.
Try this quick exercise– put your head down and talk about your week. Hear the tone of your voice and the words you use. Then do the opposite. Look up and repeat exactly the same words describing your week and hear the tone and the words. Hear the difference! Listen to this in exercise in the podcast.
We can’t speak the same negative words in a downcast tone whilst looking up simply because that’s how our body and mind is wired. When we look down and speak, we are closing ourselves out. Whereas when we look up and speak, we’re opening ourselves up. This is part of our body language. Doing this is actually connecting with yourself.
Lastly celebrate yourself. It can be as small as just giving yourself a piece of chocolate. Celebrate who you are and always reward yourself.
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