Every Person is a Leader.  I teach this to youth all the time, every person is a Leader and the first person you lead is YOU!

People attribute leadership to leading others and there is plenty of that to go around.  But you cannot lead others until you can lead yourself.  General McChrystal summarized this in a speech a few months back where he extolled people to “Make your bed” first thing in the morning.  Leading yourself is establishing the personal habits that drive professional habits which drive performance.  Let’s take a look at the top 10 habits you should be building:

  1. Mind Yourself – the first healthy habit is to mind yourself.  That means take care of the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual you.  Healthy habits start with a healthy body and mind that fuel a positive Growth Mindset and better attitudes.
  2. Be Grateful Every Day – there are days that make you pause and wonder “what is going on?” And one of the best habits you can own is every day to summarize who and what you are grateful for.  Do not keep it to yourself. Show and share your gratefulness with others.
  3. Watch Your Mouth – in S+R=O the worst place you can go is usually the first thing that flies out of your mouth.  Be thoughtful and intentional with your words.  Choose them carefully, mind how others hear you and work to make a difference in a positive way in everything you say.
  4. Be Passionate – if you are stuck in a boring job, make it better or find a better one that follows your passion.  Pour your heart and soul into what you are passionate about and you will live every day with no regrets and the energy fueled by your passion.
  5. Inspire Others – inspiring people can occur in a number of ways.  A simple, “Great job yesterday” can inspire a person to higher performance.  Sharing your story with others to help them learn what you have done and what you want to do can inspire others to follow you.  Inspiration breeds a common sense of purpose.
  6. Build Connections – A social media connection is not authentic or real.  But a person to person connection where you know an individual or individuals personally, professionally and who they are and what they want and aspire to, that is a powerful connection.  Connect with people by listening, give them your time and patience, and it will pay you back a hundred times over.
  7. Own Your Work – owning your work is a simple premise but many people live in a Fixed Mindset and are blameless, disenchanted and appropriating.  They accept failure as destined and avoid owning anything.  Own your work.  Own it all.  Own your team’s work – and give them the credit when the team wins.
  8. Look for Opportunities  – as you walk around your home, look at things and think how they would be different or better if something in your home did something different or better.  Opportunity is everywhere, you have to see it, sense it, feel it and nurture it.  It comes from inside of you, it comes from your team, peers, supervisors, friends and neighbors.  It is all around you.  Take it.  Own it.  And share it.
  9. Drop Your Baggage – everyone carries an extra bag, like that person on an airplane trying to stuff a 40” bag into a 24” tube.  Not everything you carry with you should be in  your bag.  Periodically stop, look at what you are carrying and if it does not benefit you or someone else, take it out of the bag.  Drop your baggage, an ounce here and there quickly adds up to a pound or many pounds.  Lighten the load, drop your baggage.
  10. Be Generous with Your Time – this is counterintuitive to many people.  Many people will tell you to guard your time, it is a precious resource that not everyone deserves.  That is true. But your time is your single greatest asset and as an Influential Leader with a Growth Mindset when you are generous with your time with a customer or client, a peer or subordinate or just a friend on the street, you have invested in a relationship that will pay you dividends more so than being 5 minutes late for the gym.

Every person is a leader.  Lead yourself and you will learn to lead others.With a Growth Mindset there is absolutely nothing that you cannot achieve.  Do the work.


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