According to the great leadership guru, Stephen Covey, “Most people think of leadership as a position and therefore don’t see themselves as leaders.” When it comes to our own lives, however, we are all leaders, by definition because we have no other choice.
What IS personal leadership, anyway? As defined by WeLead OnLine magazine, it is the “desire of an individual to take charge of his or her own life.” The article goes on to state that is also a mental ‘toughness’ for lack of a better word, that enables a person to cope with difficult situations while realizing that tragedy can strike for seemingly little reason.
Other characteristics include the perseverance and drive to find a better way of doing things, and the ability to challenge authority when necessary. It is also crucial to embody a willingness to rebound from negative events and go on. But above all, personal leadership is about maintaining your optimism in the face of adversity. A generous amount of both eagerness and excitement will help you stay focused and motivated, and help others do the same.
Lastly, effective leaders exemplify honesty, ethics and integrity. You must set an example by your own conduct and be able to inspire those around you. Trust is an essential component of leadership as is kindness and compassion, both towards yourself and towards others.
To run your own life effectively, you must also possess maturity, wisdom, tact, assertiveness, creativity, and self-discipline, to say nothing of a well-developed sense of humor enabling you to laugh at—and learn from—mistakes you’ve made in the past.
Personal leadership requires an on-going commitment to ‘getting it right,’ however you define that concept. Psychologists have long studied whether human beings are born natural leaders, or whether they learn this skill over time. It would appear that it is a bit of both!