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    Gisele is a Certified Executive Coach working with leaders seeking to enhance their leadership presence. See her profile.

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    You are your own leader

    I often ask people, “How many direct reports must you have before you can call yourself a true leader?” and people try to guess: minimum of 4, more than 10 etc. The answer is not in numbers.  You don’t need anyone.  Leadership starts with you and how you lead yourself.

    You have heard the saying:  Your career is your business, run it like one.  The same applies to your life, and by life I mean, what you do with yourself. What does it mean to run your life as if it is a business?  It means, understanding your core values, having a vision and mission, protecting your investment, making sure growth is sustainable, year over year. It is also about tracking it to make sure it is on plan and on budget, you know; the stuff we do at work.

    So, translated in “me” terms, this is about your self-awareness level.  Knowing what motivates you, what personal goals you have in your life and how you can go about them. It is about knowing what matters, nurturing and protecting it.  It is about understanding your own strengths and opportunities, as the assets and liabilities on your balance sheet, and making sure that your efforts yield intended results.

    John C. Maxwell in his book The 5 levels of Leadership, says this very well.  Before you can begin to want to connect with other people, you must first connect with yourself . I suggest you read this sentence again.   So much rides on this.

    If you are to be a successful leader, you will need to inspire, influence, convince and mobilize people and you will need to do this by virtue of who you are. Not so much what you say or do, although this too matters, but mostly who you are. And you will need to be comfortable with, and like who you are because if you don’t, who the heck will?

    If you don’t have time to figure out who you are or who you are becoming, work with an executive coach. We can help. This is what we do for a living.

    How you lead yourself, and others, matters.



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