Leadership – A Tool for Self-Development

Leadership – A Tool for Self-Development

Becoming a leader is not simply a matter of ordering and dictating instruction to people below you. Rather, leadership should be viewed as an art of communicating and learning from other individuals. You are probably already aware that there are many kinds of leadership techniques that is each effective in its own way.

However, whatever the form of leadership a person utilizes, one similarity among them is that they will learn more from leading others to do their job properly because they will discover their communication style and learn from their mistakes and the mistakes of other people.

It is safe to conclude that you can actually learn more when you are given the task of teaching someone else, because you would need to review all the theories and understand the concepts better before you can teach it to another person. Being given the responsibility to teach is a heavy one so, it is really no wonder that leaders who teach effectively turn out to be very effective and become great leaders later on.

With this in mind, it is inevitable for the instructor to learn from teaching other people because they become involved in their own learning process. This kind of teaching exposure can be described as an effective leadership method which is participatory and experimental.

From teaching other people, the leader or the “instructor” will also be able to discover his competencies as well as his strengths and weaknesses. It would also develop his interpersonal skills because as a leader he would know how to effectively communicate with other people to get the message across.

It is also interesting to note that the process of learning by teaching also follows the process of Steve Covey’s formula of the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. These steps include:

  1. Becoming Pro-active

Basically, becoming pro-active means that you control the external environment you live in instead of letting it control you. You need to follow the principles of self-determination, the power of choice, and the right to decide your response to stimulus and circumstances. In the same way, you can become pro-active in helping other people learn.

  1. Beginning with a goal in mind

Steve Covey calls this principle of having personal leadership; you need to learn from yourself so that you can move forward to your aims. Because when you develop the habit of focusing you attention on relevant activities, you can build a foundation that will enable you to avoid distractions and instead, focus on the goal to become successful.

  1. “Put first things first”

Meanwhile, Covey names this principle as the “personal management.” This is about organizing your activities and your life so that it will complement the goals you set for yourself in number 2. While having goals is more of a mental creation, “putting first things first” is the action point.

  1. Always think “win-win”

On the other hand, another principle you need to remember is having a mental attitude of a “win-win” situation. Covey names this principle as “interpersonal leadership” wherein your need other people to reach your goals and so that you can help them reach theirs. Covey believes that there is enough resources to go around so, people need to take a cooperative approach rather than challenge each other where one would become the loser.

  1. Seek to understand and to be understood

This is another habit that is essential in today’s modern world: communication. Communication is very powerful and it can either help you achieve success or lose it. Covey has a simple formula for this, you must first “diagnose before you prescribe.” While being a very simple principle, communication is very effective and it is an important aspect in developing relationships in all aspects of a person’s life.

People should realize that communicating with other people is essential and they need to use all the tools available to them to improve their relationships.

  1. Synergize

Complementary to number 5, this is the principle wherein cooperating with others is the key to becoming a successful leader and a successful person. Covey believes that the “whole” meaning more than a single person, is greater than its “parts” which is a single person. Each person has something to contribute so they can make the whole stronger and the way to success easier to navigate.

  1. Sharpening the saw

Lastly, Covey champions the principle of renewing one’s self. This habit is essential because it can have an effect on the other habits. Self-renewal is necessary for a person to grow and be encouraged. There are four parts in renewing one’s self including the spiritual, the physical, the mental, and the emotional parts. All these aspects of you need to be fed and developed so that you will always remain sharp and in-charge of your own life.

As you can see, the seven habits of highly effective people certainly give us a wider perspective of how to become more effective and productive in today’s world. However, you should also note that these principles are universal and they will stand the test of time because human nature will remain constant no matter the era they live in.

By   Andrew   Clapton

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