Many of us are quick to judge the public leaders that we have and also condemn the very many things they are trying to do. We talk about how shabby we think their ideas are or how they set goals and made promises but they have never kept them. We are quick to talk about infrastructural decay, corruption in civil service, breakdown of law and order and so many other things. Everything that goes wrong is on the leadership. The same thing happens within our small groups where we have leaders. When something in the office is not fixed or when salaries are delayed or maybe clients are complaining, it’s so easy to look at others but not ourselves. Yes I know that everything falls and rises on leadership as John C. Maxwell would say but we easily forget or some do not even know that there is something called personal leadership.
For those who are just hearing about this, welcome to the personal leadership class. Maybe we should call this the introductory class. Have you ever thought about the fact that you are a leader of your own life? When you say you have a life to live it seems to me that you are saying, ‘I have a life to lead.’ Why am I calling the way you live your life personal leadership? It is simple. We already said earlier that everything rises and falls on leadership. If we agree on that then you need to know that everything that happens in your life rises and falls on you. Think about your academic pursuits, your career goals, family life and the many other ambitions that you have. If they will ever come to pass it will depend on your personal leadership ability.
Personal leadership comes to one simple thing. If you understand it then you will be able to lead yourself to a fruitful life or better still, greatness. It is about coordinating successfully everything within and around you that interacts with your present life with a possibility of determining your future life. In order words, there are things you see around you today and what you make of them determine what you get tomorrow. There are also feelings that you have today. What you make of those feelings will determine what you get tomorrow. If you don’t feel like getting out of bed to do any work today, you will wake up to hunger tomorrow. If you feel like sleeping but force yourself out of bed, that’s leading yourself on to do what’s needful rather than what is desired. If you notice you have a skill, personal leadership makes you stick to the skill, improve and polish it the make the most of it.
Just like we may not always like what many of our leaders are doing, even though those things are in our best interests, when you get a good grasp of personal leadership then you will do for yourself a few things that may not be convenient but will end up being profitable. An example of personal leadership is deciding to set some serious goals for yourself. You already know the price that you have to pay to achieve the goals yet you stick to it. You know it may mean having to cut your TV time, lose some sleep and save some extra money but you are still willing to do it. That is personal leadership. It means you don’t have to wait for other people to make a meaning out of your life. You decide that your life must have a meaning and also force yourself into that routine that will give your life a meaning. Nobody put a gun in your ears to obey. It was not a punishment for something you did or did not do but it is about a future that you saw, you liked and you want to be there.
Do you want to lead others? Start by leading yourself. As a husband you have to show that you are leading yourself well before your wife or children will follow you well. Do you want to lead a group, lead yourself well and you will soon get the chance to lead the group. Come to think about it. It can be a great disaster to get a chance to lead others when you have not led yourself well enough. Have you seen some popular leaders who got into trouble because of their positions? Well it will be useful for you to know that some of them simply got into trouble because they could not lead themselves well. Those who got into financial scandals could be people who have always had issues with money but they never worked on themselves. Some of those who got into sex scandals are those who have always had tendencies or lived a reckless life and did not work on it.
Guess what? The best leaders you will ever find are not those who know how to lead others to do everything that needs to be done. They are those who know how to lead themselves. As a matter of fact, no true leader emerges without first successfully leading him or herself. Think about success, achievement, greatness or any other nice word that you would want people to use when introducing you. They will only come your way when you lead yourself successfully. The end of your life will be a picture of how good a leader you were to yourself! Start lead in yourself in the right manner now!
Fola Daniel Adelesi
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