Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Why the Key Life Skill of Leadership is Vital to YOUR Personal Happiness

Just a few quick thoughts on why leadership is a key life skill you need to live a deliberate, powerful and stress-free life and experience maximum fulfillment and success in everything you do...  

...even if you don't think of yourself as a leader.

And there's a special leadership challenge waiting for you below...

  • You are a leader - almost everyone is at various times in their lives
  • You may be a leader within your own family, your community, on a sports team, at work, at your place of worship or in lots of other venues
  • Leadership isn't always a position with a title - Gandhi was one of the greatest and most successful leaders of the twentieth century, yet he had no position and no formal authority at all
  • I submit that you have probably found yourself taking on the informal role of leader on many occasions in your life, however humble
  • Leadership is seldom easy - as a great fictional character once put it in reference to leaders in training, "You will be tested, well beyond your current limitations."
  • Every parent is a leader and every parent can attest to the truth of those words!
  • I just watched last year's best picture, The King's Speech
  • There you see King George VI, the most reluctant of monarchs, who has leadership thrust upon him and who overcomes a devastating handicap to become a powerful symbol of resistance during Britain's "finest hour"
  • Leadership is a key life skill, not just something for rare people at rare times
  • How so?
  • Without it, you can neither pull your own life together nor can you help others meaningfully
  • Now think about that and consider the consequences for a society that does not train its people in leadership - what hope could there be for such a nation?

  • And yet, everywhere around us we see the failure of key institutions, including governmental institutions, financial institutions, religious institutions and, of course, corporate entities
  • Close examination will reveal in nearly every case a catastrophic failure of leadership - people in positions of authority failed 
  • Failed at what?  Did they just make mistakes?  
  • No.  In nearly every case they failed the test of character - they too self-interested to tell the plain truth and do the right thing, or too proud to listen to anyone's advice
  • Personal integrity is the rock upon which leadership is built - that is an unalterable principle that history has shown us time and time again
  • As one great fictional speech on leadership puts it, "I am not interested in the names of your fathers, nor in your family's lineage.  What I AM interested in... is your breaking point!  How will you conduct yourselves in battle?  How far will you go to preserve your honor, to fulfill your duty?  These are simple questions that will decide the fate of our empire."
  • It is through the skill of leadership that these same questions will determine the fate of every civilization
  • Leadership begins with resilience and no one without resilience can succeed as a leader
  • Notice in today's two videos - to be a leader, you have to lead from the front, be willing to show the way, get your hands dirty
  • This means you have to be a role model - the people you lead must see in you what they wish to become
  • So if you're flabby, self-indulgent, too timid or self-interested to make tough decisions, or lack the personal integrity to tell the plain truth every time, then you'll fail
  • So leadership depends on self-leadership - your ability to be the leader of your own life, to get your act together, to become a person of character
  • Of course, without resilience, you cannot acquire self-leadership
  • Resilience means Psycho-Physical Resilience, Character-Value Resilience and Spiritual-Noetic resilience: without these, you can't get your act together, and hence self-leadership becomes impossible
  • So, in the final analysis, leadership itself depends on cultivating your personal resilience
  • Now you can see why the critical life skill of leadership is vital to living a deliberate, powerful and stress-free life and to maximizing your own personal fulfillment and happiness

  • So if you're ever again tempted to think of yourself as someone who is "not a leader", slap yourself upside the head and think again
  • You've been a leader before and you'll be one again
  • And since that's the case, you have a responsibility to the people you'll lead - and to yourself for that matter - to become the very best leader you can be
  • Leadership challenge - identify at least one situation you are in this week in which you function as a leader (formally or informally) in some capacity, and apply just one of the principles in either of these videos to yourself while in that situation and watch the difference it makes!

    ~ Dr. Symeon Rodger

1 comment:

  1. This resonates with something I've noticed quite a while ago. Many times we hear the Shakespeare quote, "Some people are born great, some people achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them." What frequently is not quoted is the line right before it: "Be not afraid of greatness".