By: Gail Stone

"Leaders are made, they are not born. . ."  (no more evident than below, since they were small boys)  By the Leader of Leaders, particularly in the World of Sports, Vince Lombardi/Green Bay Packers

Though I had already completed my blog on Leadership, I am beginning on a different note.   Last Monday night I was truly touched - blown away - by a remarkable group of leaders! This all started with every individual on The Chicago Black Hawks, now the Stanley Cup Keepers, as a result of each determined, goal-oriented, persevering leader, comprising their team!

Leadership. . .beginning with 'Self', has become a 'buzz-word' in practically every work place, school, team, organization, board, charity. . .It's everywhere! And, perhaps that is because Leadership begins with your self, each individual. You see, you cannot lead others until you can lead/direct your life and yourself. This realization has become a major component of life in the 21st Century. As a part of this topic, I'm going to incorporate a key type of leader, a 'teacher' of sorts, aligned with your career path, who can support you from a very young age. . .a mentor/mentorship. As you find value in such a person, this can become a natural role for you to play for others, if you choose. 

In thinking back to our development, our parents were our 1st leaders. You were blessed if they were good, strong, consistent role models. Those early years are so vitally important! By the time you're 3, approximately 80% of who you are, how you view yourself and others, as well as how you perceive them 'seeing' you , is formed. I don't know about you, but that was startling, even, scary to me. Do you feel the tremendous responsibility that we have to our children, our grandchildren. . .the future of our world?!  

Now, that being said. . .a relatively new mindset is that people 'CAN change'. That's a whole other subject and blog!

With these staggering statistics re: early personal development, you can see why 'Leadership of Self' is so key!  Even as a teen, for the most part, you are in charge of you. . .how you think, how you create,  engage, and process thoughts and ideas, the choices you make, how you react to/interact with others and your surroundings. In other words, how you operate on a day to day basis. . .Your Life!

Here are some key leadership qualities. There are endless ones that can be learned every day. However, to begin with, you need to become 'aware' of them.  Did you know that awareness is more valuable than intelligence?  "You don't know what you don't know". . .right?

  1. Be RESPONSIBLE rather than having  a VICTIM mindset! - "Poor me, He/They did this to me/made me do this", as opposed to, 'What/How was I - at least, in part - responsible for the problem that ensued?". . .possibly causing a myriad of negative ramifications to yourself and/or others.  
  2. Be Responsible for your WORD' - Do what you say you're going to do.  If you're don't, not only are you not 'leading yourself', who would possibly want you to be their mentor/ leader, if they could not rely on  you 'keeping your word'?  I once learned that "All we have is our Word."
  3. SET GOALS!  You can't possibly get from A - B, if you don't know what B (What you want/your destination) is!  That is sometimes referred to as your PER. . .Perfect End Result.
  4. Please don't get into what I term. . .the PROCRASTINATION Pitfall - a chronic disease for sure!  Don't put off important steps to arrive at your PER.  You could end up treading water and eventually sinking.  Beware of distractions. Keep your eye on the ball. Be discerning regarding timewasters, which can include people, who will drain you and suck  energy from you. . .if you allow it. Rather than allowing procrastination to feed upon distractions, stay focused!. Stay the course!
  5. BE POSITIVE!  I strongly believe  and have personally experienced, "What you think about comes about." We know exactly what each and every 'Hawk' was thinking about. . .just as I have read that many great athletes do. Michael Jordan, golfer Phil Mickelson actually 'See' their ball go IN prior to the executed shot. It's been said that we each have an obedient genie within us. . ."I can't do this!"  You're right, your Majesty, you can't!"  or "OK, I realize that I had a minor set back, but I know if I 'stay the course', I can accomplish my goal!"  "You're Right, your Majesty!"
  6. In conjunction with 'Being Positive', PERSEVERE! Don't get discouraged to the point of giving up. That next push could hold your future success and gratification for not only you. . .but the world. Try that responsibility on for size! Be persevering, just as you were when you lst learned how to ride a 2 wheeler bicycle. Honestly, I don't know one child who wasn't able - with perseverance - to learn to ride a bicycle. Do you?!  With challenges, get back on your path towards your goal!
  7. Create a "MASTERMIND'. . .two or more people, harmoniously working towards the same goal. This is partially based on the definition of synergy - 1 + 1 = 3.  This could consist of as few as a co-worker(s) and a manager or a mentor. . .or several more. It's not a dying art yet! There are countless mastermind groups creating greatness and tremendous wealth throughout the world.  Beware of disharmony and dissension.  These are powerful, negative distractions which impede goal progress and growth. 
  8. OPENNESS! This is what I consider one of the most important thought processes as a Leader . .even to the extent of peace in the world!  Bob Proctor (Int'l Leader, who has 'created' a multi-business dynasty) states that "When people are not 'open', there are missed opportunities." 

As you become a 'Leader of Self', choose your leaders wisely. You will then continue to have mentors on your ongoing path to success as you become a leader of others in a myriad of ways. Believe it or not, great leaders have other great leaders as their mentors. . .sometimes each other! How exciting is that?! We can always learn and become aware of more. Please don't become complacent. 

"Success isn't owned, it's leased. Rent is due every day. . ."  JJ Watt

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GAIL STONE - Life/Quotes 

Gail Stone brings 51 years of lessons learned from teaching all ages in Chicago Public Schools, and 15 years of personal and professional growth training and women’s leadership to The Honey Good Team. Twenty-five years ago she created The Gailconnection, a free meeting and hospitality service. Gail is also a Quote Coach and believes that one 'road to success' is reading what successful people/leaders have to say. Gail is eager to share wisdom and insights with the Honey Good Community.