Leading others means you have to lead yourself

The leadership agenda has been big for some years and lots of funding has been allocated to developing the next breed of UK industrial pioneers. I have been fortunate enough to throw my views into the pot as a guest speaker on a number of Government funded initiatives, targeted at supporting entrepreneurs to develop their leadership capabilities.  Whilst these bring value, in my view there is a missing link in much of the leadership theory. It was summed up wonderfully in a Napoleon Hill quote – “When a man can lead himself, he’s ready to start leading others” – never a truer word been said. So many people proffer themselves forward as leaders without having earned the necessary licence to do so – my view rather less eloquently stated than the master himself is – sort yourself out before you start with others.

Respected leaders that I have come across gain the respect of others based on the way they lead their own affairs  – its what I believe to be the foundation of an effective leader – more specifically:

  • Personal reputation – one based on strong values and ethics
  • Track record for delivering
  • Strong personal brand
  • Good standing in the community
  • Humility – treat everyone with respect
  • Well balanced and self disciplined

Deeds not words underpin great leadership – follow through and deliver what you say you will deliver! Great leaders ensure they communicate what they have done and not just what they are going to do!

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3 Responses to Leading others means you have to lead yourself

  1. gbalfour@btconnect.com says:

    Excellent… bang on…as always John. Geoff
    Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone on O2

  2. I like your list of foundations of an effective leader, but underpinning all of it I would add really understanding others and most importantly, knowing yourself.

  3. johnleachwp says:

    Thanks Geoff & Mark, I totally agree – self understanding is critical!

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