Leadership is the ability to define an inspiring vision of the future and then compel people to achieve it. Personal leadership is the ability to do that for yourself – identifying “what do I need to do,” “why am I doing it,” “how do I do it,” “who can help” and “how do I leverage my strength.” If you do that in a way that is structured and disciplined, you can gain personal mastery.
Several months ago I spoke with fellow coach, Dawn Grossart, on the subject of personal mastery, and we came to the same conclusion: Personal mastery is that pot at the end of the rainbow that most people are trying to achieve, whether they’re first starting out in their careers or if they’re successful entrepreneurs or CEOs.
When done right, personal mastery becomes self-initiative growth and drive to success on your own. When you can do that, then you’ll have clarity and confidence, and you can achieve what you want to achieve and live the life you want to live.
The greatest challenges entrepreneurs face when it comes to self-mastery are the usual suspects: Procrastination, fear of visibility, running out of steam or giving up before you see the results you’re looking for. It gets hard. What I like to coach leaders to do is to identify those challenges, and then identify the polar opposite – the matching solution.
So, for example, if procrastination is the challenge, then personal mastery for you might be about developing discipline. Or, if you’re challenge is fear of visibility, then maybe the solution has to do with finding your way and your comfort zone. So, maybe you’re not ever going to be on The Today Show, maybe that’s not your kind of visibility, but maybe a local audience on your local station’s public morning show is where your true customer base lies.
Last, when it comes to giving up or running out of steam, sometimes leaders forget to identify the matrix and measure themselves against those matrixes so they can see the progress they’re making and let that become their motivation to keep going. They may actually be, in fact, moving forward, and they need to be able to see it on paper to get the feeling that they’re actually moving ahead getting where they want to go.
Here is something I’ve learned as a leadership coach: The coaches’ job is to help people find their own answers. But people can only find their own answers if the answers are already within them. Sometimes just a little bit of information from the outside can change everything, so in addition to finding your own framework, successful leaders must go out and search: What is the framework you need to accomplish your goals, what are you trying to achieve, and who can help you do that? Now, take your framework and tweak it until you find the one that’s right for you and get to the results you want: personal mastery.
The previous article appeared on Inc.com as a part of my column, “Behind The Desk.” Look out for new columns every week!