Recently, I learned from author Mark Sanborn as I studied his book You Don’t Need a Title to be a Leader.
Mark emphasizes “Everyone has the opportunity to lead, every day.”
He asks these questions:
“Do you shape your life and career?
Do you affect the quality of others’ experiences?
Do you inspire or influence others?
Do you work to achieve specific goals by working with or coordinating the efforts of others?”
We influence others every day. And it begins with us. Mark says, “All leadership begins with self-mastery. You can’t lead others until you can first lead yourself.” (page 28 – of You Don’t Need a Title to be a Leader – look inside his book when you CLICK HERE).
Some of us may find the idea of “self-mastery” to be daunting. Still, I’ll always remember what Mark wrote: “Leadership is influence. . . . People remember stories. Stories are the coat pegs of the mind. They are where people hang their ideas. Once they have a memorable story to help them remember, they can recall whatever important moral or point you have to make.”
So I’ll continue on this topic. When you want to “first lead yourself” take a careful look at the stories you tell yourself about yourself.
Mark wrote: “If you want to be a leader in your own life and in the lives others, you’ve got to follow through on your own promises.”
So continuing this idea: let’s make sure that we tell stories about when we made a promise and we came through and actually did what we promised. That’s an important part of leading yourself!
You can put more life in your life when you focus on keeping your promises and telling the stories that truly influence people for the better.
Further along in his book, Mark identifies 3 Cs – Character, Competence and Connection (page 53). Mark wrote: “To harness the power of others, you have to persuade them to follow your lead. . . . To get others to follow you requires character, competence, connection.”
Mark then demonstrates how to improve in all three dimensions.
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I truly agree with Mark’s approach. I have been a leader since I directed my first film at 9 years old.
Over the decades, I have studied with mentors, and currently I lead teams in the United Kingdom, India and the United States of America. I’m known as a CEO who coaches leaders to maximize their influence and impact. From experiences directing feature films, creating and publishing graphic novels and business books and more – I know truthful discussions of what it really takes to lead. And Mark’s book is truthful and helpful.
As I was preparing to write this article I came across so many powerful quotes, I said to one of my team members, “I might as well underline and quote Mark Sanborn’s entire book!”
It is a joy to recommend Mark’s book, You Don’t Need a Title to be a Leader, to you.
You may not be leading a company at the moment. Still, you lead yourself, perhaps, a group of friends and in your own family.
I’ve seen a number of times that when I personally demonstrated greater patience, family members followed my lead and calmed down.
So learn from Mark’s stories and methods in his book, and be the leader who makes a positive difference each day.
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