To Be a Great Leader, First Become a Great Person


In the famous story, The Leader Who Had No Title by Robin Sharma, one of the four teachers, Jet Brisley, was trying to provide a lesson on leadership to Black. He illustrated a very important lesson that usually leaders forget while trying to lead their teams. The lesson was:  To be a great leader, first become a great person.

Here is a summarized quote about it:

 “Greatness on the outside begins within. Jet added. You can’t unleash peak performance at work until you feel like performing at your peak. You can’t show world-class toughness against completion if you don’t have mental toughness within yourself. And it’s just not possible to unlock the best in your teammates without first being connected with the best in you. The final lesson is all about personal leadership. Lead yourself first. Only then you will get to a place as a person where you can lead other people. Devote yourself to become so incredibly strong on the inside that you appear to be failure-proof from the outside. Work really hard on yourself so that all the buried treasure slumbering deep within you begins to reveal itself to every element of the world around you. Start to clean up your negative beliefs and your false assumptions about the kind of leaders you can become as well as about the profound achievements you can create. Develop the self-awareness to arrive at a deep relationship with your once dormant potential, your largest ambitions, and your highest aims. Do the inner work required to make your character richer, your intentions purer, and your acts bigger. Train hard to get your health into high gear so that each day you are full of energy and radiant in vitality. Success longs to the energetic”.

 Within this context, the story put the7 fundamentals of personal leadership which are:

  1. Learning: “Read from books that will inspire you, strengthen your character and remind you of the examples of the greatest leaders of our world. Also, listen to audio books on subjects ranging from business excellence, team building and innovation to wellness, relationships and personal motivation”.
  2. Affirmations: “One of the single best ways to re-script limiting beliefs and failure programs within your mind is through the consistent repetition of positive statements about the leader you want to become and the achievements you commit to create. For example, reciting the affirmation “Today I am focused, excellent and stunningly passionate in all I do” a number of times at the beginning of your day will create the mindset of a champion and a winning emotional state for you”.
  3. Visualization: The mind works through pictures. All outer achievements begin within the mind…. All progress is nothing more than invisible creativity made visible. So during your personal leadership hour, make time to close your eyes and-like any good elite athlete does-envision yourself realizing your goals, playing at your best and fully awakening your inner leader”.
  4. Journaling: “Writing in a journal is a remarkably strong way to become a clearer thinker, to build massive amounts of self-awareness and to record your intended outcomes. During your hour of personal development, note your insights, feelings, hopes and dreams. Also process through any frustrations you might be experiencing and go deep into your fears. The fears you embrace are the fears you’ll release. Your journal is also a place to express gratitude for all you have and to memorialize your journey through life. Your life is a gift. And so it’s worth recording”.
  5. Goal-Setting: Setting and then reconnecting with your goals on a regular basis is a powerful success discipline. Goals generate hope and positive energy. And when you experience adversity–and we all do from time to time–clearly articulated goals offer you a North Star to guide you out of the rough seas into calmer waters”.
  6. Exercise: “Remember that doing something physical each day boosts brain function, fuels far higher energy levels, helps you manage stress more effectively and keeps you in the game longer”.
  7. Nutrition: “What you eat determines how well you’ll perform. Leadership is influenced by your diet. By eating like a winner, your energy will remain at peak and your moods will stay positive. Please also remember that by eating less food, you’ll be able to do better work”.

One of the best takeaways from this story is we shouldn’t mix between ego and aiming for a life-first class, i.e. having the best food, wearing the best clothes, going to the best vacations…etc. The secret is to always remember that “those things are not who I am. I’m not attached to any of them. I own them versus owning me”.

At the end, “you can be genius, have a world of gorgeous opportunities, and a plan to make it happen. But if you have no energy each day, nothing gets done”.

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