What's up with you?

The Hardest Person to Lead It doesn't take long to realize that leadership is hard. You should be able to conjure up the names of at least five people who make that a true statement. All kinds of things make leadership difficult, but certain people are one of those things. As the picture of those certain people comes to mind, take a minute to let that picture fade. Because of all the difficult people you will lead, the hardest person to lead will be yourself. Call it whatever you want-the discipline of a leader, self-leadership, managing yourself-you've got your work cut out for you. The journey of leadership is as much inward as it is outward. Leadership, done well, will continually be a force that drives you back into the center of yourself to find out what you are really made of. Great leadership occurs when you understand your own motives, your ‘dark side,' what you want to misrepresent in order to look better than you really are. One of the things I believe deeply is this: Leaders ought to be the most self-aware people in the room. Sure, who doesn't agree with that? Especially if I clarify that I am not talking about a narcissistic self-awareness. You know the kind: The people who know only two pronouns: I and me-no, not that kind of self-awareness. I'm talking about the kind of self-awareness that makes you comfortable in your own skin. You know who you are and who you aren't. You lean into and lead out of your strengths. You have words for your brokenness, and while you may wish you had none, you know that you do, and you know what they are. And you know that other people know. You wouldn't have it any other way. Taken from Unleashing the Power of Rubber Bands by Nancy Ortberg. Copyright © 2008 by Nancy Ortberg. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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