Personal leadership is about becoming the person you want to follow. If you examined how you speak, act, and face adversity, would you want to follow yourself? Would you follow the person you are when no one is looking? Leadership is tested every day, and there are no off days. You can only be a true leader by being your authentic self and owning your principles and values. If you are genuine, your values and principles in life will shine through in everything you do.
You need to know your principles and values before you can become a personal leader. Once you know them, you can lead on those principles and values. A leader stands tall in the middle of both dark and bright times. You can’t stand tall in the middle of a storm if you are following someone else’s principles and values. Once you know what you stand for, you will be able to lift people up on the pedestal of your beliefs and will avoid being dragged down by others.
My father taught me how to be a personal leader. Leadership is something that seeped out of my father’s pores. He was able to stand tall no matter what the circumstances were. The person he showed the world was the same person he was in private. My father shined bright for my family, especially when we were going through the darkest of times.
In 1981 I lost my little brother to leukemia. I will never forget the quiet 2-hour drive home from the hospital or the events that would follow. The night my brother passed away, we walked through our home door without him for the first time. As my mother walked through the door, she collapsed onto her knees, unable to take the pain of losing her son. This image of my mother made all of us crumble. A few minutes later, my father pulled us all together in a huddle. He knew he had to stand tall in the darkness. It is moments like this where true leaders show up. My father looked at us and firmly said, “We will never forget him, ever. As a family, we will pull together, and we will move forward honoring his life.”
What my father did at this moment positively impacted my entire life. He showed me how to be the light in the darkness. Personal leadership is about becoming the person you want to follow. My father showed me how to become a person that I want to follow and that I am proud of. I challenge you to become a personal leader. Live your authentic story and become the leader you would follow. You might find out that the world wants to follow you too.
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