What makes a leader? Is it nature or nurture? Are you born with leadership qualities or can you learn to develop your leadership skills? Discover 5 ways that you can further awaken your leadership and do something even more extraordinary with your life!
One of the most common questions I’m asked about leadership is whether it is something you are born with or is leadership something you’re able to develop.
Some individuals know what they’re committed to and what’s really valuable to them early in their lives. In doing so, they’re likely to wake up their natural born leader, build momentum and confidence in that area of their life as a result. For others, this may take place later in life and for some individuals, they live out their lives without that clarity.
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Leadership and Values – is there a link?
Your individual set of values or priorities in life influences how you perceive the world, your resultant decisions and actions, as well as the areas of life in which you will or will not excel.
Any time you set a goal or an intention to fulfill what is deeply meaningful, truly most important in your life, you’re likely to awaken your natural born leader.
When you compare yourself to other people and think they have more intelligence, success, wealth, stable relationships, influence, physical vitality, beauty or spiritual awareness than you, you’ll tend to minimize yourself and exaggerate them.
As a result, instead of living by your own highest values, you will be more likely to inject some of their values into your own life and cloud the clarity of what you feel inwardly called to do.
In his essay on self-reliance, Ralph Waldo Emerson discusses how the majority of people conform and subordinate to the herd instead of leading it.
As Ernest Becker says, they become part of the collective authority instead of the selective individual authority by trying to fit in instead of having the courage to stand out.
Over the past four decades, I have spoken to tens of thousands of people in various settings from prisons to governments, and from very wealthy influential people to those just starting out on their journey. I am yet to meet an individual who does not want to make a difference. And you’re unlikely to make the difference you dream of if you’re trying to fit it.
It was in Atlas Shrugged & The Fountainhead that Ayn Rand spoke about “unborrowed visionaries” – individuals who do not borrow their vision from others but who instead go inside to intrinsically find out what is unique to them that they want to contribute to the world.
As such, an unborrowed visionary most likely will become a leader.
What are your highest values?
Each of us has a set of priorities or set of values that is unique to us. My highest value is teaching, with my lower values being cooking and driving.
If I fill my day with high priority actions that are deeply meaningful to me – teaching and research – I build momentum towards my leadership capacities. That is one of the reasons why I’m a leader in my field.
On the other hand, if I was to do something low in my values that was unfulfilling to me and resulted in my living by duty and not design, and by the imperatives of others instead of the indicatives of my own heart, I would then tend to shrink and cloud the clarity of my highest values, which is my mission.
You lead in the area that you value most
The degree that you live congruently with your highest values is the degree that you are likely to wake up your natural born leader.
Your unique hierarchy of values evolves as you go through time, which means that your leadership capacities can also evolve as you go.
However, it is the degree of congruence between what you value most and living congruently with those highest values, which awakens your leadership so you can lead in the area you value most.
Whatever is highest on an individual’s values, they tend to project onto others.
It may be helpful to think of it this way – whatever an individual has as their highest value will tend to be what they perceive ‘should’ also be most important in everyone else’s life.
As such, the many people that surround you will all have their own hierarchy of values and they’ll all be projecting what THEY perceive is important.
They are also likely to judge you accordingly.
If you’re not doing what they think is important, they may even try to “fix”, alter, or change you in an attempt to get you to do what they think is important.
It would therefore be wise to identify your OWN highest values
I’d encourage you go to go through the FREE Value Determination Process on my website and answer the 13 questions by writing down what your life already demonstrates.
Your hierarchy of values is revealed by your ACTIONS, not your words or what you perceive that you “should” value. The moment you try to be somebody other than yourself, you’re more likely to be a second-class instead of a first-class leader.
Fill your day with high priority actions
When you fill your day with high priority actions that inspire you, your day is less likely to fill up with low priority distractions that don’t inspire you.
These low priority distractions are likely to be the infiltration of other people’s values and expectations that distract you, scatter you, weigh you down and can cause you to doubt yourself.
Think about the last time when you lived by your highest priority. I am certain that you will find that you were more resilient, more adaptable, saw things more clearly, were able to adapt, had resilience, walked your talk, had more confidence, were more certain, achieved more, looked forward to tackling challenges, and were effective in getting the most important things done.
When you fill your day with low priority items…
When you fill your day with low priority actions and you don’t get around to doing what is most important, you tend to be unfulfilled, difficult to deal with, look for immediate gratification, go into pride, project your values onto others and expect them to live in your values. You will also tend to be angry, aggressive, blame others, beat yourself up and live with uncertainty, while also offloading your decisions to other people because you may feel that you don’t have what it takes.
Everybody has a leader inside them.
Those wanting to grow their leadership skills and ability would be wise to be courageous enough to be themselves.
It is relatively easy to walk on coals or do a bungee jump compared to the real true courage it takes to be yourself.
Do you have the courage to be yourself when the world is wanting you to fit in?
In order to be a leader, you need to stand out, be willing to beat a different drum, and inspire people by exemplifying an authentic life.
Your identity revolves around what you value most.
Whenever you live by your highest value, you live by an identity that is called the authentic self.
This is where is where you are the most likely to be honest with yourself and have the most integrity.
The five S’s of leadership
Know what your SERVICE is.
A few years ago, I spoke about leadership at a conference of over 1200 people in Melbourne, Australia. At one point, I walked down off the stage amongst the audience and began asking people, “So, you’re here for a leadership conference. What do you intend to lead?” About 8 out of every 10 people didn’t know!
So, know your mission. Those with a mission have a message; and those with a mission and a message have a vision, and they can see it. The way you know it is clear in your mind is that you can articulate it fluently to somebody else who can then see it at the same time.
You’re not likely to have fulfillment earning money without meaning, but by making a difference in other people’s lives. If you look carefully at your life, you may well find that the most fulfilling moments in life is when you made some sort of contribution.
So, look carefully at what it is you want to dedicate your life to. It is not about what other people expect. It is about what is in your heart.
Gain SPECIALIZED knowledge in that field.
One of the value determinants in the value determination on my website is: what do you spontaneously want to learn? We spontaneously want to learn about what is valuable to us.
It would be wise to learn as much as you can about it through mentorship, action, reading, studying further, or standing on the shoulders of other giants in order to gain specialized knowledge in whatever it is that you are inspired to do.
If you stay focused on what is really highest on your list of values, you are likely to build incremental momentum. If you have gained specialized knowledge because you love learning about it, you’re likely to become a master of what it is you do, and gain respect in that field which makes you a leader in that field.
People will also tend to realize that nobody can keep up with your pace because you are so inspired by doing it that you are absorbing it.
Whenever you read and learn about what is most important to you, you tend to absorb the information more fully because it is so deeply meaningful. You also tend to retain information that is meaningful, and excel in that as a result.
Learn how to SPEAK out.
Those with a mission have a message. So, share your message.
The ability to leverage leadership through message is powerful.
Most people are frightened about speaking because they are worried about what people think about them.
They compare themselves to other people that they think are more intelligent than them or are more focused on what other people think about them instead of on their message.
However, if they give themselves permission to share that message, they can leverage themselves.
Here are some interest statistics:
- If you can overcome the fear of speaking, you will move to the top 20% of the world.
- If you can overcome the fear of speaking and say something clearly about a mission that makes a difference in somebody’s life, you will be in the top 20% of the top 20% of the world.
- If you can do that and if you can get them to go and fulfill their mission, will move into the top 20% of the top 20% of the top 20% of the world.
So, speak out. Don’t hold in what is inside you.
If you don’t empower your life from within, other people will overpower it from without. Any area of your life that you don’t empower, other people will overpower.
People who speak out and can articulate fluently and congruently what is meaningful and deeply inspiring to them are unstoppable and most likely to be leaders in whatever field they have specialized knowledge in and in whatever they feel is their mission.
Learn how to SELL.
Learning how to sell really means learning how to care, which essentially involves learning other people’s values and how to communicate what your values are in terms of them, and what your mission is in terms of their values.
When you do that, people will tend to believe that you have charisma. Charisma is the ability to articulate what is deeply meaningful to you in a way that inspires and helps them fulfill their mission.
If you help other people get what they want in life, you get what you want in life.
Learn how to SAVE and invest.
It would be wise to invest in yourself.
Until you value yourself, don’t expect anybody else to. If you value yourself and invest in yourself and have money working for you, you will be less likely to have to work for money as a slave. Instead, you will be more likely to be its master.
- The moment you value you; so does the world.
- The moment you invest in you; so does the world.
- The moment you have money working for you, you won’t have to work for the money, but instead because you love to work and the resulting money is simply paying your way.
Give some thought to saving a portion of whatever you earn, living within your means, and continually expanding yourself financially.
In conclusion, it would be wise to know what your mission is; gain specialized knowledge; learn how to speak out; learn how to sell and communicate in terms of people’s values; and then save and invest. When you value you; so does the world.
I am certain that there is no reason whatsoever why you can’t do something extraordinary with your life. It doesn’t matter what you have been through and what you are going through. What matters is that you follow those principles I just outlined:
Do the free Value Determination Process to help you determine what is really important to you.
Start prioritizing your life. Do it every day, a little at a day,
Start delegating lower priority things. As a result, you are likely to gain confidence, get a clear vision, waken your Executive Centre in the brain, say no to things that aren’t important, say yes to things that are a priority, and fill your day with challenges that inspire you.
Avoid comparing yourself to others. Own their traits. Discover where it is already inside you – that way, you will tend not to compare but instead to reflect.
The leader inside you may be dormant. This may also be the time to stand up and be yourself. The magnificence of who you are is far greater than any fantasies you will ever put on yourself.
_________ ❤️ _________
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About Dr John Demartini:
Dr. John Demartini, is a human behavior specialist, a polymath, philosopher, international speaker and published author. He has recently been awarded the IAOTP Top Human Behavior Specialist of the Year as well as the IAOTP Lifetime Achievement Award.
His work is a summation of over 299 different disciplines synthesized from the greatest minds in most fields of study today. His extensive curriculum focuses on helping purpose driven individuals master their lives so that they are able to more extensively serve humanity with their inspired vision and mission.