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‘When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change’. Wayne Dyer.

There are many things in my life that I have come to believe, either because they were simply passed on to me and I’ve never challenged them for myself, or because I’ve come to realize them and have chosen to embrace them for myself. Either way, I have a set of my own beliefs and they are a part of what affects my perspective about my life, about others, about the world, etc. As an adult, I have the right to change them, question them, abandon them, adopt them, etc. depending on my experiences and learning. This means that this set of beliefs is subject to change, thereby subjecting my perspective about life to change as well.

Now, over time, I am learning a lot more about leadership and with new insights, my beliefs about leadership get challenged and I’m thankful that I have a choice on how I make use of this information.

One of the things that I’m being challenged about, over and over again is my perception about leadership. For long, I believed that a leader is :

  • Ms./Mr. Know It All- someone with all the answers
  • Someone who is most educated than everybody else
  • Someone who must be served
  • Someone with a title, or with highest position/rank
  • Someone who controls, directs and manipulates

Life experiences and learning have actually challenged my beliefs about leadership, and as iterated on Forbes, ‘Leadership is a process of social influence, which maximizes the efforts of others, towards the achievement of a goal’. I believe that this is what true leadership is, and it is the type of leadership we need to help make this world a better place.

I’ve come to believe that, in order to lead/ influence others, leadership must begin with oneself, as rightly put by Founder and CEO of Atlas Corps, Scott Beale, ‘we cannot be effective leaders if we are not self aware’. It does not say, if we are not educated, or don’t have a title, or don’t have all answers, or have no control over others, we cannot be effective leaders. Rather it says, ‘if we are not self aware’, meaning, if I as a leader, do not know who I am, do not know my strengths, weaknesses, needs and goals, I cannot be able to help others know the same about themselves, and so cannot bring the best out of them, and let alone enable them to achieve their goals or team goals.

With this new insight, my perspective about leadership has been redefined and changed and I believe it will affect the way I lead moving forward. I now believe that leadership begins with me; if I can know myself, influence myself to bring out the best in me to achieve a goal, then I can be able to influence others by bringing the best out of them and enabling them achieve their goals.

So my changed perspective is: Grace, be a leader that is self aware, that can enable others to be self aware and in turn maximize their (as well as my) potential towards the achievement of goals.

What beliefs about leadership do you hold, and how are they affecting the way you lead? Are the results positive or not? Could it be time you changed your perspective about it in order to be a more effective leader?

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