The most effective way of improving your ability to lead others starts with yourself, and the skills and experience you possess. Self-knowledge is the starting point for personal development, and the soldier’s questions can help each of us to understand our purpose and motives. Important stuff, but how often do we pause to reflect in our busy lives?
And how well do we know ourselves? Many of us are accomplished fugitives from ourselves. We take on a range of distractions and activities to fill the quiet space in our minds and fool ourselves that we are effective.
Three questions to ask yourself and the story of the wise traveller
A long time ago in a faraway place a wise traveller was walking along a dusty path. A soldier appeared and shouted to the traveller to stop. “Who are you, where are you going and why are you going there?”
The traveller paused and smiled at the soldier. “What do they pay you in the army these days?”
“Twenty kopeks a month” replied the soldier.
“I will give you three times that amount each month if you will stop me each day and ask me those three questions” the wise traveller said.
Become aware of your values and gifts
We blame our job role, the pace of change and shrinking resources for our problems and issues and rarely look inside ourselves for an answer. We close down the reflective space that allows us to become aware of our values and gifts. Ironically, this is the place where deep wisdom about leadership resides and where we can start to become an authentic leader.
Leading from the middle
In the eBook Leading from the Middle – a leadership resource book the authors, Sally Watson and Maggie Shannon, provide exercises and resources to help you reflect on your leadership. With an emphasis on those operating in mid-level roles, it opens up some interesting and valuable ideas about the contribution of middle managers in the modern business.
In a world of constant change and transition, middle managers need to be confident, capable and motivated to see their ideas through. Their contribution to challenging the status quo is very important to organisational performance.
Develop your leadership skills to improve business success
Evidence from both theory and practice indicates that those who operate in mid level roles lead the “work” of an organisation. The people who make a business successful are frequently working hard in the middle of the organisation. On a daily basis, they can be found dealing with complex challenges, managing performance, and leading teams. By developing their leadership the improvement and success of the business will also develop.
So pause for a moment and ask yourself:
- Who am I?
- Where am I going?
- Why am I going there?
The eBook Leading from the Middle is a key resource for aspiring leaders, it contains learning exercises and information for middle managers who want to increase their influence.
Click on the image and find out more about the eBook Leading from the middle:
You might also find these books interesting: