Every person is a leader.
Or so I believe.
We are all called to lead at least one person. That person?
The First Person You Lead
You may hear varying reports on how you become a leader. One thing is certain: The first person you lead must be yourself.
It’s hard to lead others when you’re not leading yourself.
This may sound odd, but it’s true.
We have no actual control over others. We do have control of ourselves.
We tell our bodies what to do. We tell our mouths what to speak. We tell ourselves when to go to the bathroom. We tell ourselves what to eat (or not eat).
We are the only ones that can control these aspects of our lives.
How well we do these things impacts how well we can lead others.
Why We Must Lead Ourselves First
People are looking for a leader. But they’re not looking for just anyone.
Followers want someone who can show the way. Someone who has been where they have been.
They want someone who:
- Has worked out and lost weight
- Has experienced success in business
- Has control of their emotions
- Has great family relationships
- Has proven they can lead
Each of these actions tells other people something: That you know how to lead at least one person. That person is yourself.
They desire to follow someone who has chosen to lead.
Be that person.
How To Lead Yourself
Leading yourself can be difficult. Just thinking about it seems weird.
You may ask yourself: How do I lead myself? How can I be a good example? How will I be able to this?
That’s simple. It’s back to the fact we must lead ourselves first.
You lead yourself by:
- Making time to continue to educate yourself
- Exercising and keeping fit
- Spending time with your loved ones
- Creating a schedule for work and for home
- Getting up when you don’t feel like it
- Turning off the TV when you want to watch nine more episodes of The Walking Dead
- Sitting down to write when you’d rather be doing anything else
- Finding time to interact with mentors
Leading yourself looks a lot like leading others.
Question: Do you believe you must lead yourself first? Why or why not? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.
This essay originally appeared on Joseph Lalonde.
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