Wisdom//

Leadership Begins with Love

Leadership has everything to do with your relationship with yourself.

Jacob Lund / Shutterstock
Jacob Lund / Shutterstock

What defines a good leader?

Anyone can be a leader by definition, an accomplishment derived from experience and credentials, built upon by job titles and paychecks.

Yet, not everyone who is a leader actually leads.

The number one thing that separates those who successfully manage change from those who simply hold management titles is the ability to be memorable. That skill-set is one that is uniquely yours to articulate, drive, and build. To be memorable you must trust in yourself enough to unfold legacy in real-time, based not on how you lead others, but on how you manage and lead yourself.

Leadership begins with love. Self-love. It is a give-get gift you give to yourself that permits you to more effortlessly empower and motivate others. It is rooted in an ongoing and synergistic decision-making process that combines head and heart.

This happens from the inside out rather than from the outside in. You lead as an extension of yourself. Adding love to the leadership equation does not soften your management style or detract from your followers; instead, it increases your empathy and appeal, and expands your energy, confidence, and choices.

It is this expanded confidence and your ability to take ownership of the “brand of YOU” that will empower you, and by extension, empower others to grow and evolve. People will be attracted to you by your energy and sense of purpose. Like a magnet to metal, you will lead organically by action, example, and choice.

Leading with love is leading with an open mind. It takes place in the moment. It is this reference point of moment-centric decision making and management that forges new ideas, capitalizes on creativity, and fosters collaboration and connection.

Leading with love permits change. Change, in turn, supports personal and professional action and growth. How you lead yourself is essentially how you lead everything. Shift the internal and the external follows.

Clarity of self is a key driver in good personal and professional leadership. If you are in sync with yourself, clarity of purpose leads to clarity of action steps. You build a life that you love from a place of choice. You build a business and a team that supports that life that you love by engaging intentions with commitments.

Essentially, you lead by leading. Listening to an inner voice that you believe in supports that. That voice gives way to choices that birth results. That voice begins with self-love.

Translating successful habits and skill-sets that you practice, hone, and savor in your everyday life heightens your awareness of self-leadership and sharpens your ability to lead yourself and others.

Here are three do-it-now and DIY suggestions to lead from within. The key to your relationships with others begins with your relationship with and understanding of yourself.

Lean into successes.

Keep a running inventory of what worked. One of the best ways to make new decisions is by expanding upon past wins.

Keep a monthly in-action list of achievements. Expand upon that list as an ongoing resource for leading what’s next.

Create a book of choices.

Challenge yourself every morning to choose one thing to change or do differently each day. Create a notebook called your Book of Choices and dedicate it to documenting authentic decision making.

Allow your Book of Choices to support you in curating self-leadership and legacy activated in real-time. Build upon this book with a list of desired outcomes. How will you lead you? How will you lead others?

Leverage your legacy.

If leadership begins with love, legacy begins with leadership. You take your power and your ability to lead yourself and others to a new level of greatness when you opt into leveraging your legacy. Every choice, every highlight from the sizzle reel of your life, contributes to not only your future legacy, but more importantly, to engage your power to actually BE legendary right now!

It is this essence, this power tool of change, that separates those who are getting their goals from those who are simply setting their goals. Legacy is the driver to successfully living today.

Create a daily mantra statement that will refocus your mind and support your next steps from the vantage point of what you CAN do right now. If you are clear on what you want and why, you will lead yourself every day a little closer to that vision.

Every morning ask yourself: How will I use this today? Every evening ask yourself: How did I use this today? Weave together your daily mantra with your answers to those two questions and you will move one day closer, each and every day, to leading a life you love. This, in turn, will support you in managing others.

This article was originally published on Ellevate.

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

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