Leadership Development is Personal Development

Jann FreedLeading Leave a Comment

One of the statements I often make is:

“Organizations only grow and improve when people grow and improve.  So to become a better leader, work on becoming a better person.”

Since self-awareness is empowering, leadership development starts with understanding the self.  There is not a better time than now –during these uncertain and stressful times–to examine ourselves and how we are leading.  And the better we understanding ourselves, the easier it is to understand others.  Not easy–but easier.  First, it is tough to take an honest inventory of ourselves, but this is where we have to start to “peel the layers of the onion” back to the core in order to recognize what drives us and how to manage these drivers.  Emotional Intelligence (EQ) all about knowing the self and self-management is a major component.

In my work, I often use a book by Robert Quinn Deep Change:  Discovering the Leader Within.   Quinn says:

“The key to successful living is continuous personal change.  Personal change is a way to avoid a slow death.  When we are continually growing, we have an internal sense of meaning and impact.  We are full of energy and radiate a successful demeanor.  To have such feelings in a continually changing environment, we must continually realign ourselves with our environment.  This requires that we do an unnatural thing–that we exercise the discipline to take an unusual perspective.” 

Quinn continues:

“The problem is that to grow, to take the journeys on which our growth is predicated, we must confront our own immaturity, selfishness, and lack of courage.  In a sense, life is all about our forceful, often overpowering need to take journeys, yet our tendency is to grip the “swings” ever more tightly (not let go).  The decisions we make about our journeys determine how our self is aligned with our surrounding environment.”

What is your personal reaction to these statements?

In trying to change others, it is difficult to see ourselves as part of the problem.  

How can we change the pattern, but changing ourselves?  

How are you developing as a person?