Understanding What Makes Us The Leaders We Are

According to the Kolbe Concept, individual performance can be predicted with great accuracy by comparing a person’s method of operation (actions, reactions, interactions, use of time and natural form of communication) with self-expectations and the requirements of specific tasks. Understanding and exercising control over these resources gives us the freedom to be our authentic selves. If, as leaders, we are called to be our true authentic selves, we must be willing to uncover who we are.

Leadership is one of those concepts that everyone seems to have their own opinion about. Not only do we define leadership traits and qualities differently, but we act as leaders differently Why is this? Because leadership starts with the leader. With so many people asking, teaching and talking about leadership, it’s understandable that opinions vary on what makes a great leader, but the things that compel us to lead may be more similar than we think.

The truth is, we all have a vision of how we could make something better. Let’s take a look at teachers for a moment. We all have had some great teachers and we have all had some not so good teachers. Both teachers taught us something though, right? The good teachers taught us how powerful learning can be, while they bad teachers taught us how important it is to have good teachers in the school systems. We recognize that if we were to one day be a teacher, we would be one of the good ones because we have now personally experienced the joys of learning and the thrill of excelling in school. We felt the impact and realized that we too could one day make an impact on a child through teaching. Imagine if we all acted on these visions of being better and doing better. This world would be a much better place because of it! So what is it that makes us into the leaders that we become?

Here are two things that we believe are key concepts in recognizing what make us into the leaders that we are: knowing yourself and knowing the motives.

Knowing Yourself

“For it is easy to criticize and break down the spirit of others, but to know yourself takes a lifetime.” - Bruce Lee

“Let’s look in the mirror then we can look out the window.” This is something we tell people all the time. It is important to practice on the small things, so that when it’s time to perform, you’re ready. You have to know yourself in order to lead and be willing to work on changing the things you need to change within yourself to become the best leader you can be.

Knowing the Motives

“People have motives and thoughts of which they are unaware.” - Albert Ellis

What motivates you? Is it the bad teacher or the lack of strategic planning? Whatever it is, pinpoint it and keep it in mind, as this will serve as a daily reminder of why you do what you do. It is also important to recognize what motivates your team? What motivates and engages the people you are leading? By identifying their motives, you are tapping into their strengths and what keeps them at their best. Just as you engage in your own motives, great leaders engage in motives of others as well.

Recognizing these two elements of leadership is essential in understanding ourselves and others as leaders. This realization helps us understand that leadership does in fact look differently on everyone, and that is okay. The important thing to remember is the vision that we all had at one point in time where we decided we wanted to do better and be better. For this moment was the catalyst that brought you into leadership to begin with.

Do you remember a moment in your life where you decided you were ready to step into leadership and were dedicated to the vision of doing and being better? Comment below!