Personal Growth and Leadership - what is it? Let us first clarify what we mean by leadership. Already a quick internet search shows that there is an overwhelming number of definitions and descriptions of leadership. This comes as no surprise given the vast amount of books and articles on leadership, be it in the scholarly literature or in the popular press.
Usually, we understand leadership as meaning “leading others” but leadership has two more essential, often neglected dimensions: leading oneself and the willingness to be led by others. These two dimensions will be introduced in Personal Leadership.
In our globally intertwined economies and companies, division of labour and working in teams across geographical, cultural, and hierarchical boundaries have become a commonplace. Thus, you have to develop the technical and socio‐cultural skills to perform well in an increasingly international team-based environment. Your efficacy in a team crucially depends on your willingness to be led by others in the team. How effective you are as a team member is shaped by your willingness to integrate and cooperate with others. Even the Chief Executive Officer of a company needs the buy‐in and support of others. Therefore, he must be willing to accept to be led by them, at least in certain situations, be it by his peer board members, his direct reports, owners, other stakeholders, or his significant other. As history and research show, those leaders who fully exploit the opportunities to be led by others stand to gain, those who don’t, fail – sooner than later, often miserably. Further, if you want to be an effective leader of others and be led by others in your own best interest, you must first be an effective leader of yourself. Personal leadership is about how we lead ourselves and how we connect with others. Leading yourself starts with asking yourself who you are, what you do, and how you do it. However, measuring up your own self is not a once‐and‐for‐all assessment. Nothing is static in this world. Rather it is a process of learning about yourself in the context of interacting with others and steering yourself to creating a strategy for your life and executing it successfully. Be aware: It may be a painful and slow process because you first have to open up to others, to their feedback, to how they view you and your team and leadership contributions. Appreciate the opportunity to explore and release your potential with the help of others. They are the most valuable source for your self‐reflection on your leadership journey. Thus, connecting with others is the key to your personal growth and your development of leadership qualities.