When I started writing about “The Leadership Journey”, it was meant to be part autobiographical, but in a manner that relates to business. Therefore, I have proceeded chronologically until now, and have focussed on the lessons that I have learned in managing teams, and this has been or, has intended to be a reflection of my own growth (or not) as a leader.
Yet, you cannot grow as a leader unless you grow as a person. There are times when circumstances hit you with a bang, and you feel a bit like Sonny Liston would have felt after being delivered that famous knock-out punch by Mohammed Ali.
However, this is when you need to pull yourself up by the bootstraps. All the lessons and lectures you have given to people about being tough, and clear-headed are now lessons that you need to turn back on yourself.
It is similar to a situation when you find yourself at a cross-road. This is the strangest circumstance that can hit a person – yes, this is where I am these days – because this is when you find that you need to re-evaluate your life, your passions, your vision for yourself, your persistence and your strength.
I have found that it is easier to talk about vision when talking about corporate strategy, or marketing strategy, and is less easy to do so when walking about the vision or guiding light that is going to lead you for the rest of your life.
But this is where it is. It is scary, I must say, but on the other hand, it is strangely exhilarating, almost liberating. As I read in a blog post on “The Better Man Project”, it is a chance to paint the wall afresh.
What paint will you use, and what is the picture you will draw. This is something that can come to you in a flash, or after months of self-introspection.
As you hold the paint brush in your hand – as I hold it – I realize that leadership starts with yourself.
The leadership journey begins again and again, and there are fresh lessons to be drawn every day.