Four Dimensions of Leadership – Part 1
David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer
If you have ever read my emails or blog posts, you know that I am passionate about leadership, and I love studying what others say or write on the subject. A few weeks ago, I heard a teaching that has piqued my interest, and since the best way to learn at a deeper level is to teach on the topic, I decided to develop this thought more and share what I am learning with you. The topic is the Four Dimensions of Leadership, which are Inside Out, Outside In, Side by Side, and Upside Down. This week we will focus on Inside Out.
“In reading the lives of great men, I have found that the first victory they won was over themselves.” – President Harry S. Truman
I love the above quote from President Truman, and I know the greatest challenge I face on a daily basis is leading me. There are things that I know I should do but don’t want to do. There are things that I know I shouldn’t do but really want to do. And there are things that I want to do and just never get to. Do I have you confused yet? Let me get more specific. I know that I need to exercise more, but I just don’t want to. I don’t understand people who can’t wait to exercise each day. Maybe if fishing was considered exercise that would change things, but it’s not, so I am stuck not liking exercise. I know that eating ice cream isn’t the most healthy habit, but it tastes so good. I just love taking my grandkids out for ice cream, and no matter how much I cloak the event in building healthy family relations, my wife knows that at the root of it, I just love ice cream. I also love my grandkids (but that’s not the point here). Now you can see why my greatest challenge is leading me.
Now, don’t think that this post is just a way of providing excuses that will allow us to keep living the way we want to. Not at all; it’s time to get down to business. I said it was my greatest challenge. I didn’t say that I gave in. I continue to work on myself because I want to be the best leader I can, and I need to start by leading myself first—from the inside out. If I want to grow in leadership, I need to start by growing in self-awareness and then in self-discipline. These two core areas will be the ultimate determining factor in how far I can grow.
Why start with self-awareness? Starting with Self-Awareness allows me to develop a roadmap for my self-discipline. I needed to begin studying myself and my reactions so that I can learn where work is needed. Looking at where I fail isn’t pleasant, but everything worthwhile is uphill, so I need to start climbing. Once I can identify an area that needs work, I can build a plan to increase my self-discipline. I wish I had time here to tell you more about how and why, but you will need to listen to Episode 171 of The Next Page podcast as Marisa Norcross, and I dig much deeper and identify the hows and whys. I hope you decide to join us.