Over the coming weeks, I intend to show you what it means to be a leader. I’ll present a simple framework that describes how to practice lazy leadership and make a difference in your early leadership career. I will draw from my experience and support this with popular and theoretical perspectives.
However, unlike many leadership books and blogs, I’m also going to talk about making the best use of our time when leading our daily lives. As such, this will be a deeply personal journey, since it examines our purpose, potential, ambitions and behaviour, and rejects the idea that we must attempt everything.
So, I hope you join me and focus on what really matters.
What Is Leadership?
Leadership makes us aim for our goals, to make changes and to create meaningful relationships. Or to put it another way, leadership is all about living our lives as we intend.
That is, leadership provides us with the opportunity to grow and contribute to our wider community. What’s more, it’s a very personal and unique journey that draws on our unique talents and signature strengths. But only if we take up the challenge to grow and contribute.
This means we must become the change of our hopes and dreams. But what stops us from achieving our ambition? Why do we fail to become the person or leader we seek? I believe there are two explanations. First, there is apathy, and I don’t mean indifference or indolence. Rather, that we are consumed by the issues of the day and simply turn up for the ride.
The second point, is fear. We fail to act because we fear failure. Every time we fail to act out of fear or fail to stand up for what we believe, we cheat our authentic self.
Four thousand weeks
Life is short. If you’re fortunate to live into your eighties, you’ll have had about 4,000 weeks to live your life. When you’re young, you think you have your whole life in front of you, yet by the time you graduate there’s only 3,000 weeks left!
I hope this is a sobering thought. Your ambition, your hopes, and dreams can’t wait until next year. The time to act is now!
You really cannot afford to sleepwalk through life. Now is the time to rethink what you want from your remaining two or three thousand weeks and reshape your life around what really matters. This is the essence of personal leadership.
But where do you begin? To be completely frank, that’s up to you. However, I can nudge you in the right direction.
But first, indulge me and try to touch the monkey.
Well, I guess you touched it. But that’s not what I asked. I said, “Try to touch the monkey.” This usually means you will do something, or you will not. All too often, we use ‘try’ as an excuse.
Personal leadership starts with doing, not trying, and if you are to become the change you want to see, you must be and do. In other words, personal leadership reminds us to take responsibility for fulfilling our dreams and ambitions. Indeed, if we don’t take ownership of our lives, someone else will!
The good news is that I can help you to define yourself and your vision. But first, let us consider this: what is leadership?