Nico Repollé
Dec 3, 2018 · 4 min read

The 1st Step in Building Great Leaders: Knowing Yourself

repollephotography

Are you a leader? Or do you just hold a leadership position?

Do you know you?

It is said that everyone is a leader because everyone influences someone. People influence others through roles labeled as managers, bosses, teachers, professors, coaches, captains, chiefs, mentors, etc. Now each of these roles have the potential to hold leaders, but often times do not. Everyone is not a leader, but anyone can be. Leadership is not a position or a title, it is action and example. Leadership is the process of influencing others toward a common vision or goal.

If you are going to lead, lead in a way that creates value in the lives of others. In order to add value, you must know yourself. Knowing yourself is the foundation of strong character, purpose, and authenticity. It’s only when you understand who you are, not who the world thinks you are, that you’re ready to lead. Knowing who you are, requires an accurate understanding of your strengths, weaknesses, values, beliefs, motivations, and desires. Developing these personal insights provides the foundation of all successful leaders. Leaders want to make a difference, and they want to be challenged to grow.

How are you supposed to lead others to a vision or goal if you don’t know your own vision or goals? You have the power and responsibility to lead and develop yourself, so that one day you can lead and develop others. But you cannot do this without reflecting. Unless you examine and reflect on your life, you will not grow, develop, or reach your potential. It’s only as you examine your life that you get to know yourself and understand your personal motivations, values, desires, talents, and strengths. This self-discovery of your internal journey is not just a once and done thing. It requires constant reevaluation to maintain that self-knowledge. Successful leaders continually reevaluate their self-knowledge by committing to continually improving their self-awareness. Effective leaders keep working on their personal growth, developing disciplines and strength of character.

Slow down. It’s so easy to get caught in the fast pace of society. There is always that next task, something else always needs to get done. Right here and right now stop what you are doing and commit to diving deep. Right now take some time to invest in yourself. Investing in yourself is investing in your people. It’s a full circle.


Knowing yourself is a journey. The process of knowing yourself is not a quick leisurely activity but an investment for the path of life. Knowing yourself is not about finding what your favorite color or food is. Knowing yourself is about discovering who you are as a human being, the real you.

The journey takes courage and can be unpredictable. When you dive deep, you are faced with the unknown: quiet. People are so unfamiliar with quiet it makes us uncomfortable, we don’t know how to handle it. We are afraid of what lies in quiet, often times our own thoughts. We distract ourselves from making decisions and acknowledging problems in our lives. We are scared of asking big-picture questions and the answers we may get. We are faced with our own thoughts, our deepest fears, self-doubts, vulnerabilities, and insecurities. We are faced with the hard questions we don’t have answers for.

On this journey of knowing yourself, you reflect on the path behind you and wonder “How did I get here?” then you look down the path in front of you and wonder “Is this where I want to go?” You imagine the life you want to live, the legacy you want to leave behind. This journey requires that you ask great questions, because great questions drive great thinking, and great thinking drives greater action.

Great leaders don’t set out to be leaders, they set out to make a difference. They understand themselves and what their vision and goals are. That way when difficulties and conflicts arise, a leader has learned ways to lead themselves under pressure, so they can manage their energy and focus their mind on what is important. The quality of a leader is reflected by the values they set for themselves and hold for their followers. Leaders become great not because of their power but, because of their ability to empower others.

Ultimately, if you fail to lead yourself well, at some point, you will forfeit the right to lead others. Everyone is not a leader, but anyone can be. How will you pursue the path of knowing yourself better?

Are you a leader? Or do you just hold a leadership position?

Do you know you?

repollephotography

The Business of Being Happy and Healthy

With gratitude, brought to you by the Startup Island community.

Nico Repollé

Written by

just a guy working to make a difference

The Business of Being Happy and Healthy

With gratitude, brought to you by the Startup Island community.

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