How to Build Your Leadership Style: Compare Yourself with Yourself

January 31st, 2012 by Kelly Kienzle

So often we look around us and try to become the leaders that others expect us to be.  Or we look behind us for past role models and historical precedence to determine how we should be.

But what if you were to step away from those comparisons and instead compare yourself with yourself?  What if you were to compare yourself with what you aspire to be?  What if you could hold a vision of the leader you want to be and use that as the measure of your success?

We are wired to more passionately pursue our own ideas and dreams.  So let your vision of who you want to be act as your guide and your measure.

Yet should we turn a deaf ear on the advice of others?  Or a blind eye on the missteps of those who have gone before us?  Absolutely not.  So think of choosing bits of information from those experiences and assembling them in a new way.  Imagine choosing many small pieces of colored glass from different artworks.  Then assembling those pieces into a collage that is wholly unique and reflects what you want to become.

You will need a framework to hold all of those pieces in a clear shape. Here are some steps to get you started:

1. Build a vision of your future self.  Consider these questions and use the answers to sketch the outline of who you want to be:

What is the legacy that you want to leave?

For the sake of what, are you doing what you’re doing?

What would make you proud to say you did?

What would it feel like to achieve that goal?

What kind of mindset would you need to have?

2. Draw some comparisons.  Take that image you’ve created and compare it to who you are right now.  What needs to change?  What is blocking you from that new way of leading?   What is the first step you want to take to become that kind of leader?

3. Keep collecting.  Hold that vision in your sights and continue on your way.  Add pieces of knowledge and advice to your growing collage as they interest you.  When you are unsure about whether to add a certain piece, compare yourself to that vision of yourself.  How would this new piece enhance or detract from that vision?

And here is how will you know when you have completed your artwork and grown into this future vision:  If you used the answers above as a guide, even once, to determine your course, then I say, “Welcome”.  You are living your vision right now.

And I also say, “Bon Voyage” because you are also now a constant traveler with more intriguing pieces to discover, collect and add to your collage.

Consider what pieces you have already collected to form your collage.  What value is most important to you? What is one credo that you try to live by?  What do you want your legacy to be?

If you want a conversation partner to help answer these questions, please contact me for a complimentary coaching session.

“Live the life you have imagined.”

– Henry David Thoreau

One Response to “How to Build Your Leadership Style: Compare Yourself with Yourself”

  1. January 31, 2012 at 9:54 pm, Sharon Keys Seal said:

    wonderful, wise post Kelly. I am forwarding to a friend. Nice work!


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