Recently, a client called to see if I was available to speak at a company meeting that she was organizing in 2012. The objective of the meeting, she told me, was to drive a stronger sense of engagement within the company as a whole.
“Sure,” I replied, “this sounds like the perfect situation for my program on Leadership Personal Branding.
“Oh, sorry!” the client responded immediately. “I probably didn’t make it clear enough. This meeting is for the entire company, not just management.”
I hear this quite often. To a lot of folks, it seems that the word “Leader” means “Supervisor” or “Manager” and often relates only to those people in a company who have others reporting to them. And, in fact, most people who call us to inquire about the topic of Leadership Personal Branding are indeed focused on developing people at the mid-to-senior management level and above.
But, I see the word “leader” differently. I mean, think about it: If you aren’t successful at leading yourself, how can you possibly be successful at leading others?
To me, good leadership starts first and foremost with yourself. If you have the desire, discipline, and willpower, you can become an effective self-leader. And, once you are engaged in developing and leading yourself, you create a strong ‘leadership personal brand.’ That, in turn, places you in a prime spot to be tapped for increasingly greater levels of responsibility that may, or may not, end up with you leading others.
Agree? Disagree? I’d love to hear what you think!