Leading Yourself

Developing the Leader WithinLeadership is a dying art in the world today.  The great leaders of the past, George Washington, Winston Churchill, Alexander the Great, Martin Luther King, even Adolph Hitler, are found few-and-far between these days.  There are some that have been fairly successful, like Steve Jobs for instance, that have rose to an iconic status, but have they been truly great leaders or just really successful at running something?

Often there is contention between the skills that a leader needs and what a manager needs.  I believe, if you’re not a good leader, you won’t be a good manager, and if you’re not a good manager, you won’t be a good leader.  It is my contention that those who apply both of these talents expertly demonstrate what I call, “LeadermentSM.”  This is the expert combination of Leadership and Management together.

LeadermentSM | Developing the Leader Within.  Welcome to my LeadermentSM YouniversitySM!

Last week I kicked off my LeadermentSM blog with a quick overview of what to expect.  Every Sunday I will share skills that I believe make one both a better Manager and Leader.  Inherently, managers manage things and leaders lead people.  That is the core difference between a manager and a leader.  However, the skills that these two very separate roles employ are essentially the exact same.

Developing the Leader Within is the core block of the LeadermentSM YouniversitySM.  LeadermentSM starts with you–if you can’t lead and manage yourself, then you simply can’t lead and manage other things and others.  Developing the Leader Within focuses on providing you the basic building block personal skills to refining your personal LeadermentSM skills.

Some of you might have heard of, or even read John C. Maxwell’s book, Developing the Leader Within You.  This block is not like his book–it is focused internally on how you lead yourself, not leadership traits.  Once you have mastered the art of leading and managing yourself effectively, we will move onto leading projects.  Developing the Leader Within is all about your personal abilities to apply LeadermentSM every day in your daily life.

There are six key sections of this block of LeadermentSM learning at my YouniversitySM.  Each section is focused on unlocking your inner Leader and Manager and then deploying it in a relatively non-threatening environment.  The areas of Developing the Leader Within that will cover over the next several months are as follows:

Strategic MindStart with a Strategic Mindset.
For several weeks now I’ve been running a Saturday morning professional development blog called Think Big, Take Small Steps.  If you haven’t read it and want to be a great leader, I recommend you get caught up and stay current with my blog.  Starting with a Strategic Mindset is about thinking strategically–always.  In every situation, at the forefront of your thoughts, should be mission, vision, goals, and actions.  If you are doing something–anything–that doesn’t fit within the mission and isn’t moving you toward the vision, why are you doing it.  Think Big, Take Small Steps is about building a rock solid organizational strategic plan that won’t fail like 70% of them do.  Start with a Strategic Mindset is about building an internal focus on strategic planning in everything you do.

Positive ThinkingHarness the Power of Positive Thinking.
Envision It, Believe It, Do It!  If you have ever played golf, that is a sport all about thinking positively.  But you don’t have to be a golfer to Harness the Power of Positive Thinking.  This section will focus on understanding and improving your self-efficacy and locus of control, building your personal motivation and confidence, and turning on your creative mind.

Interpersonal SkillsEstablishing Key Interpersonal Skills.
Be slow to anger-especially over petty issues.  Anger is always more harmful than the insult that caused it — Chinese Proverb.  Communication, memory mastery, and interpersonal relationships are things, once developed, no one can take away from you.  Developing the Leader Within emphasizes these types of interpersonal skills that make you a fantastic leader and manager.

Business FocusDeveloping a Personal Business Focus.
Personally leading and managing your time, finances, and the change going on around you are as important to your personal life as they are to your professional life.  In Developing a Personal Business Focus, I will focus on ways to perfect these skills to use every day of your LeadermentSM life.

HealthYour Health and the Leader Within You.
You have to take care of your health always–physically, mentally, financially, and spiritually–or you will not be able to focus on other things and other people.  Leaders and managers that cannot focus on things other than themselves because of any of these four health issues, cannot excel in LeadermentSM.  We will talk about ways to improve each of these critical areas and to constantly grow as you move forward throughout this YouniversitySM.

VolunteerismVolunteerism — The Personal Training Ground for Personal Development.
The capstone to Developing the Leader Within is to put what you’ve learned to use in the greatest LeadermentSM Learning Laboratory known.  That’s volunteering, but not just raising your hand and stepping up, but stepping up to lead and manage in volunteering.  Volunteerism — The Personal Training Ground for Personal Development will focus on establishing or enhancing your personal volunteer focus and growing this capacity through the entire LeadermentSM learning process.  As you proceed into Leading Projects–the next block–I want you to apply what you’ve learned in this block and what you start learning in the next in a volunteer environment.  The emphasis on this section is to use volunteerism as your testing ground.  See, no one fails at volunteering–that is the greatness of volunteering.  You do your best and everyone appreciates you for it, regardless if you succeed or fail.  As we proceed through the learning blocks of LeadermentSM, you will maintain this volunteerism engagement to apply, test, and evaluate what you learn.  It’s your real world capstone.  At the end of every block, I will give you an evaluation methodology for you to see how well you feel you have done.

Developing the Leader Within sets the stage for your LeadermentSM journey and begins your involvement in the YouinversitySM.  This is all about you becoming a better leader and manager and it starts by looking in the mirror and leading yourself.

Now when you think of great leaders, the likes of Lee Iacocca, Winston Churchill, Colin Powell, Adolph Hitler, or even the Egyptian Pharaohs, think about what styles and concepts of LeadermentSM they employed.  What did they do that was so effective…that propelled the masses under them to great things.  As we can see, these styles vary in application, but an effective leader and manager should understand and apply all traits in a combined approach as appropriate.

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LeadermentSM and YouniversitySM are service marks of Crosscutter Enterprises

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About johnrknotts
John Knotts is a results-oriented business professional leader, manager, and supervisor with experience from the military, small business, several nonprofits, and is currently a management consultant. Working out of the San Antonio, Texas, he retired from the Air Force in July 2008 and worked with Booz Allen Hamilton from the end of October 2008 to December 2011. Now he is a Strategic Business Adviser with USAA. John leads large and small strategic transformations and has extensive experience in the areas of change management, strategic planning, process improvement, strategic communication and marketing, strategic human capital and resource management, education and training, facilitation, organizational design and development, modeling and simulation, financial and budget analysis, activity based costing and management, quality management, competitive sourcing and privatization, leadership development, and business development.

2 Responses to Leading Yourself

  1. Pingback: Power of Positive Thinking | John R. Knotts

  2. Pingback: Self-Efficacy and Locus of Control | John R. Knotts

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