As a leader, you have many great gifts. Your talents. Your opportunities. Your drive. What are you going to do with those gifts? How are you going to share them with the people around you and the rest of the world? To excel as a leader, it’s important to give some thought to these questions. Because the reality is that as a leader, the true gift you have to give…is you.
Sharing the Practices of Personal Leadership
“When we do the best that we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another.”
You have already discovered what’s possible for you when you’ve come to see yourself as a leader. Now it’s time to share the wealth. How will you give your gifts to the people you lead? How will you give to your organization and the world around you? How big can you can really be?
As you consider how to give of your gifts, you create more gifts for yourself, for others, and the world.
And your gifts are desperately needed.
When I wrote The Inner Edge, this “leadership crisis” was the news of the year. Stories in business journals as well as Time, Newsweek, 60 Minutes and Good Morning America all reported that accomplished, talented leaders were leaving their hard-won careers to find more meaningful ways to live. The people featured in these stories invariably described a choice between success and quality of life – and in many cases, it was one they didn’t want to make.
Our culture, our organizations, the times we live in – they have a way of conspiring against our efforts to be our best. But better business should not come at the expense of quality of life, and quality of life should not come at the expense of business results. Work and life should be able to co-exist, happily and successfully. They can and they have.
But every day, millions of people drive onto the fast-lane and race their lives away – ironically missing the fact that everything they are doing to try to improve their life is actually running them into the ground. The work weeks get longer, the stress levels rise, and talented leaders burn out or move on.
We need a whole new paradigm for work and life, and it starts with you. My dream is that the next evolution of our ambitious, achieving society will be to learn how to get the results we crave in the easiest, most natural way – the way that feeds us personally and enhances our quality of life. But no matter how great your life becomes, no matter how well your business does, you are holding back something even greater that the world urgently needs. Part of being a leader is sharing what you’ve learned and empowering others, as well.
Maybe you will be the person who plants the seeds of leadership in the mind of the next great world leader. Maybe you will be the one to help shift your organization into a healthier, more life-affirming place. Maybe you will initiate positive changes in the world that today you can’t even imagine.
People like you who see themselves as leaders aren’t just leaders in their jobs. They are leaders by definition, wherever they go. You will always be the one people look to for help and support. You will be the one who asks the questions, has the answers, or creates the opportunities for incredible things to happen. At home, at church, at work, among your friends, in your political party, when you’re with your kids, when you’re giving to charity, you will be seen as a leader.
What will you do with that potential?
It’s an honor and a privilege to be a leader – a real gift. What kind of a gift do you want to be?
In order to answer that question, you’ve got to lead on every level: your inner edge, your outer edge, and your leading edge. Then you’ll be truly leading on the edge.
For encouragement along the way, be sure to listen to the free coaching Audio, called A Parting Gift – available on the website at www.TheInnerEdge.com.
Please join us for The Inner Edge Book Club! This month we will be looking at the legacy you are leaving as a leader, and looking to the next level of leadership ahead for you. For more information, click here or email info@TheInnerEdge.com.