ACTE November/December2011 : Page 10

L EADERSHI p M Att ERS Leadership: It’s Everyone’s Business PHOTO BY ISTOCK.COM By Charles D. Johnson IF WE BELIEVE tHAt LEADERS ARE BORN NOt MADE, why worry about leadership? We either have it or we don’t. And if we don’t have the necessary traits, then leadership is someone else’s problem. We simply need to follow. I happen to have a different belief. I believe that leadership, in fact, is for everyone, and that it is critically important. The type of leadership I am referring to is personal leadership , which means being Visit our Booth # 626 HELP WANTED: Freelance WorkKeys Test Question Writers ® Turn your work experience into extra cash working from home! ACT’s WorkKeys program is looking for people to develop questions for workplace assessments. Visit now! © 2011 by ACT, Inc. All rights reserved. 17019 a good leader of ourselves. This is, in my opinion, the most important and challenging type of leadership for most of us. Let me explain. When we think of leading others, the standard view of leadership, we think about certain attributes that are needed. These might include hard work, a big personality, great people skills, education, being born into the right family, or some combination of these. These attributes are certainly beneficial, but personal leadership requires a much different skill set. Personal leadership refers to being in charge of yourself, or walking the talk. Easy, you say? Ever mentally beat yourself up for doing or saying the wrong thing? We all do this at times—at least if we are honest with ourselves. However, to the degree that we do and say what we know is the right thing, and continually try to fix those things in ourselves that need to be fixed, we are using our personal leadership skills. Doing the right thing, or conversely not doing the wrong thing, is a perfect example of personal leadership. “PERsONAl lEADERshIP REfERs TO BEING IN ChARGE Of yOuRsElf, OR WAlkING ThE TAlk.” How can We Apply Personal Leadership in our Lives? We can take a page from the standard leadership and management playbook to help us do this. If we separate the meaning of leadership and management, leadership can be defined as envisioning where we want to go, and management is how we get there. Here’s a simple exam-ple. I write out a “to-do” list for the day. This is envisioning, or leadership. When I cross things off the list throughout the day, this is management. I am managing how I get things done, which is the same as accomplishing my vision. You can do this envisioning (leadership) and accom-plishment (managing) for a day, a week, a year or a lifetime. Personal leadership is really just a combination of leadership 10 Techniques November/december 2011

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