Who is the hardest person you have ever tried to lead? No matter how hard you tried, nothing worked—he or she just wouldn’t follow your lead. You read all the John Maxwell books, went to leadership seminars, and sought advice from the VP of Human Resources (who is supposed to know what to do). It was frustrating, exhausting and discouraging.
Do you have a name or two coming to mind? I do. One of them is my own, Dick Wells.
Bill George in True North says, “the hardest person you will ever have to lead is yourself.” He is right. How can you expect to lead others if you can’t lead yourself? If your life is out of control, without self-discipline, how can you expect your followers to be in control or exhibit self-discipline?
Leadership is job, not a position, and leaders have to be fit to lead. If your life is out of whack emotionally, physically, financially or relationally, it will diminish or destroy your fitness to lead. If you are an executive, your corporation will suffer. If you are a pastor, your church will be hurt. If you are a manager, your department will not perform as it needs to. To lead your organization with excellence, you need to lead yourself with excellence.
If these things are out of whack, it is your responsibility to get them on track. It is no one else’s fault or responsibility. So quit blaming everyone else and start leading yourself with purpose, passion and discipline—yes, self-discipline. Do whatever it takes to become emotionally, physically, financially and relationally healthy. Wow! Start leading yourself, and leading others will become fun again.
"The best way to lead people into the future is to connect with them deeply in the present."
Kouzes & Posner