“Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.” – Shakespeare
Most things in life started out as a decision or a thought. You have decided to become a leader and now is the time to consider the asking price. At least that is what you would do if you either have, or desire to cultivate a high level of self-awareness.
Be aware that at many junctures on your leadership journey your personal values and ethics will be projected on the screen of public scrutiny and judgement whether it be by few or many depending upon the level of Leadership that you have risen to.
For the purpose of this article we will focus on two keystones (with the understanding that there are many) of sustainable and successful leadership. These two dynamic and integrated principles are critical success factors to any Entrepreneurial venture, society, political party and any organisation.
The first Keystone is Self-Awareness
When Leaders seeks to be an enduring success they have to be acutely aware of their own Leadership strengths and be brutally honest in their reflection on their lack of skill. A high level of confidence, which we will define as a firm belief in the leaders’ personal abilities as opposed to acting out of arrogance or ignorance, is a necessity for any Leader.
How would the Leader know if his or her actions was born out of a mindset of arrogance or ignorance? Only when a Leader possesses a high level of self-awareness and regularly and objectively (which is very hard to do) reflects on his or her own behaviour would the leader be able to be aware of misbehaviour on their own part.
The great leaders amongst us, in general would be willing to venture outside the very comfortable boundaries of their own comfort zones as that is the asking price for personal growth. True leaders are willing to actively listen to the constructive feedback of their mentors, peers, and followers to be in a position to contemplate their own behaviour as objectively as possible.
Breaking through the self-inflicted boundaries of our comfort zones is in itself a catalyst for reaching a higher level of self-awareness. We are forced into self- awareness when we are in situations that we have never been before.
Only when you are self-aware can you change in a positive way. Those who ‘do not know that they do not know’ , in other words have no self-awareness will not change and will not adapt to change in general.
A Gary Vaynerchuk quote will lead is into understanding the second keystone:
“Legacy is greater than currency”.
Successful Leaders are only as successful as their team. Great Leaders leave other Leaders behind.
Considering these facts, the second keystone is:
Nothing changes unless the leader/ship changes
Nothing in your business will change unless you do not model the behaviour that you desire from your team. Through external market forces, political and social impact, change will very soon or eventually knock at your door. If you are not willing to embrace change and model the desired behaviours to lead your team successfully through a period of change, your business will suffer as a result of your lack of self-awareness.
It is virtually impossible to leave other leaders behind if you have not coached them to be change adaptive and how to embrace useful change. Leaders need to be seen at the coal face and recognised by their team members as individuals whom are willing to share both the hard and very good times.
Often the best battle commanders know the sound of bullets flying over their heads. In general, the best business owners understand every aspect of their business and have first-hand experience of triumphs and disasters that they faced together with their team members.
The reader might come to the conclusion that the asking price for being a Leader is too high. Before you jump to that conclusion, consider that we all have Leadership potential within us that can take us, along with many others to weird and wonderful places outside of our comfort zones.
Leadership is the fulcrum of unleashing potential. Leadership instigates useful change. Leadership improves lives. Nothing great was ever achieved by not honouring your potential. Will you dare to Lead?