It is said that to inspire change in others, you need to inspire change within yourself. Embarking on a personal leadership journey is the natural way in which to lead yourself (and your life) in an effective and wise manner. In leading yourself in this way, you begin to focus on the things that are most likely to bring you real meaning, fulfilment, and success.
Stephen Engels, author of The New Success Paradigm: “A Personal Leadership Discovery Platform, has created – based on two decades of business and leadership research and development – an integrated system that shapes the conversations you have with yourself, inspires the conversations you have with others and positively influences or confirms your values, your points of reference and your filters for various areas in your life. It also shares ways in which you can continually re-define yourself.
Personal leadership is hugely impacted by your self-esteem which is described by Nathaniel Branden in his book “Self-esteem at Work” as follows: “It (self-esteem) contains cognitive, evaluative and emotional components – how you see yourself, evaluate yourself, feel about yourself.”
It is thoughtfully suggested that an inspired and mentored personal leadership journey might begin at around 18 years of age, with the proviso that an individual enjoys adequately supportive social maturity and emotional stability.
According to Stephen’s book, Personal Leadership is expressed in various ways including:
1. The way you lead yourself, and the way you control your life.
2. The way you express yourself through self-determination, and
3. The way you define and express the legacy that you will hand down to your dependents, or successors.
In guiding or transforming your life based on the values, filters and points of reference that you develop for yourself over time, you may potentially have a positive impact on the lives of some of the people around you and you could also get the privilege of inspiring responsible leadership.
Responsible Leadership is a multi-faceted leadership style requiring a moral mind-set, that holds benevolence as a key value, and which puts the souls and needs of the people one leads at centre-stage.
Stephen has developed a simple way to remember the four key areas for a Responsible Leader using the acronym:
I.D.E.A = Impact – Decisions – Example – Awareness.
Some explanations that illustrate the four key focus areas for a responsible leader are given below:
· Impact – Leaders need to be aware of the positive, or negative impact that their communications will potentially have on their environment, as well as on the people that they lead.
· Decisions – Generally speaking, people do not like to make decisions and rather prefer to “sit on the fence” when facing a difficult choice. However, a good leader actively makes measures decisions and good decision-making is, in fact, the only way to move forward in any discipline.
· Example – Leading by example is extremely important, so as not to become an “armchair leader”. In leading by example, a leader stands to become a role model to others.
· Awareness – Developing a moral-minded sense of awareness in the people who one gets the privilege to lead is an extremely important process, as awareness is the first phase in every area of our lives.
Stephen believes that in our rapidly changing world, three foundation stones are increasingly relevant in the expression of leadership excellence, namely:
(ii) Personal Leadership, and
(iii) Responsible Leadership.
He suggests that “This insight is borne-out by the observation that character, personal leadership, and responsible leadership were distinguishing hallmarks of some of the outstanding leaders the world has seen.”
He goes further to suggest that “Through enhancing the way in which you lead yourself and your life, you can empower yourself, and potentially
improve the way you lead others.”