Personal Leadership IQ?
As a leader, you likely know how to lead your company or
department. But how are you doing in terms of your personal
leadership? If you’re wondering what personal leadership is, here’s
a definition. Personal leadership is the leadership of the self. It
is the ability to define a direction for your leadership and life,
and to move in that direction with consistency and clarity.
When you practice personal leadership, you “lead from the
inside out. ” The process involves asking yourself, “How do I need
to be, act and think in order to be my best?” To do that, you must
periodically turn away from the concerns of the day – the people,
the problems and the pressure – to explore and discover your inner
To practice personal leadership, you apply the principles of
leadership that make businesses a success … to yourself. For
example, leading in business involves having a compelling vision,
developing strategies and inspiring people to use their talents to
meet a goal for improved business results. Leading yourself means
applying these same principles of leadership to your role as a
leader and your life. You, too, need a compelling vision and a
strategy for reaching it. You need a team supporting you. You need
results, as well as a sense of contribution and purpose. The
difference is that personal leadership doesn’t just make for better
business; it makes for better leadership. It makes for a better you.
When you practice personal leadership, you use every ounce of
your potential with inspiration instead of perspiration, synergy
instead of sacrifice, and wisdom instead of work. Personal
leadership is so important, in fact, that renowned management expert
Peter Drucker once called it “the only leadership that’s going to
matter in the 21st century.”
So now the key question is, “Are you succeeding in leading
yourself?” Take the following quiz to find out.
The Personal Leadership Quiz:
Answer each of the following questions with a “yes,”
“sometimes,” or “no” response.
1. I am clear on what I want and know how to get it – for the
big things and the small.
2. I practice a strategic, reflective approach to leadership.
3. I know where to focus my attention on a daily basis.
4. I am able to maintain peak performance at all times.
5. I maintain my sense of stability and equilibrium in times
6. I have identified my talents, strengths, skills, and
7. I know how to maximize and leverage my unique talents and
8. I am delighted with my quality of life both on and off the
9. I feel very little stress and overwhelm in my life.
10. I make a meaningful contribution every day.
11. I have plenty of time for people, activities and events
that are most important to me.
12. I take regular action toward my most important goals –
not just what’s most pressing.
13. I have a wide network of people who support me, and whom
I support in return.
14. I am constantly learning and improving myself.
15. I intuitively recognize and take opportunities.
16. I am often astounded by the way the opportunities I want
and the solutions I need present themselves at just the right
17. I achieve a sense of renewal and restoration on a daily
18. I am proud of my ability to maintain my values and the
essence of who I am, even when life gets hectic and/or as I get more
and more responsibility.
19. I have achieved “success” as I define it.
20. I can say with confidence that every day I am at my very
Tally Your Score:
For each “yes” response, give yourself 2 points, for each
“sometimes” response, give yourself 1 point, and for each “no”
response, give yourself 0 points.
What Your Score Means:
If your score is low, you’re likely new at personal
leadership. You’re so focused on the image you’re putting out to the
world that you’re neglecting your personal leadership. Chances are
you’re doing what you’ve always done. As a result, you’re not being
very strategic about what you’re doing and why. It’s time to take a
break from the action of business, go backstage, and do the inner
work of who you are as a leader, what you want to contribute, and
how you can find the ideal strategy for achieving what you want to
If you scored in the mid-range, you are spending some
time on yourself, but you’re not being strategic in terms of getting
the right balance for yourself. You may often feel that both
business and life are “hit or miss.” You’re getting some benefits,
but you’re not getting all the benefits you could. Therefore, look
at where you’re excelling. These are your strengths. Find a way to
refine those strengths even more so you can capitalize on them
better. Then, look at where you rated yourself low. Those are your
weaknesses. Find a way to develop those areas so you get more power.
If your score is high, congratulations! You are very
often thoughtful and strategic on what you’re doing and why. You’re
capitalizing on your talents, and as a result, you’re maximizing
your business results. But don’t get comfortable and rest on your
laurels. Continue developing your skills. Yes, you can strengthen
your competitive edge and be even more strategic. Think about how
you can build on what you have now to leapfrog the competition and
break through to a new level of potential. Remember, the stronger
you get in personal leadership, the stronger you get in your
Take Leadership Personally:
The bottom line is
that as a leader, you must learn to lead yourself to stay effective.
And just as the way you lead helps shape your life, the life you
live will help you lead. So when you become a better leader, you
also lead a better life. Ultimately, personal leadership offers you
the chance to create true prosperity – the kind of happiness that
comes not just from financial gain, but also from the richness of
Read other articles and learn more about
Joelle Jay, Ph.D.
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