Understanding Yourself

Empowered leadership has three critical components—included in my website’s byline:

Understand Yourself. Influence Others. Lead the Way

Influencing and leading come naturally for many of us: to some degree, it seems to happen automatically with those with some inherent leadership skills.

The difficult part is understanding yourself.

Recently, I was making a presentation to a group of decision-makers that would require a financial and organizational commitment for a large project. I provided lots of background documentation and support and wasn’t expecting much resistance to the vision or intent of the project.

The problem was there were a few missing details that couldn’t be yet provided. Though everyone was favourable with the concept, the decision to move forward was postponed—and I was disappointed. Why? I attached a feeling of my personal worth somehow to the acceptance of my ideas and proposal.

Inwardly, I was blaming people for their lack of insight, for their fear-based decision-making, and for their lack of faith. In reality, I was the one to blame! I was so fixed on convincing people toward action and what I wanted to accomplish, that I didn’t understand how my self-worth was tied into all of this!

Upon reflection, I’m changing my conclusion—now I’m okay with the decision to delay!

The delay provides time to pursue resolution of the details, broaden the scope of my planning, and crystalize my goals. After that, my final presentation to the decision-makers will be clear and compelling.

Understanding yourself allows you to analyze your emotions and perspective and become the best leader possible.