I cannot lead people where I am not trying to go…

1443938_20970553Here is a leadership principle that I live by. I’m sure I read it somewhere, by someone brilliant. But it’s a simple principle that I think matters. Here it is: I cannot lead people where I’m not trying to go.

I really think that this is true. You cannot lead people where you are not trying to go. And the reason I love this principle is for a few reasons.

  • Know Thyself. This principle means you need to know yourself and know where you are going. This principle focuses me in on self-awareness which matters so much in leadership. If you don’t know where you are headed, no one will be able to follow. So this focuses on knowing yourself, and your direction.
  • I don’t need to be there, I just need to be trying to get there. And this is so freeing. I don’t need to have “arrived” to have it “all-together” to be an “expert”. I need to be someone on the journey. So this principle is freeing and true in that it focuses me on progress, on direction, and intentionality.
  • Going Together. The last reason I love this principle is that inherent in it is this idea about journeying together. Leadership isn’t so much directing, and telling people what to do – but journeying with people. And that’s what this principle gets. Leadership isn’t about solo directing, but communal journeying.

And this principle really comes down to three questions I often ask myself, tied to those three reasons. First, where am I trying to go? Second, what’s the next step to take towards that goal? Third, who is journeying with me?

This helps me to stay focused and moving forward. Not perfect by any means, but progressing. Because I can’t lead people where I’m not trying to go.

What do you think of this principle?

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