The Power of Personal Leadership
The Power of Personal Leadership

Most people work hard, hoping to create the life they are dreaming of.  But what if the ladder they are so busy climbing turns out to be leaning against the wrong wall? Have you ever wondered why following what parents, employers, media and our culture tell us to do doesn’t actually leave you fulfilled and happy? Until we tailor our life path to align with what matters most to us, we follow others’ recipes or commercial one-size-fits all approaches. What we need is a truly personalised compass to the life that is best for us, we need to define our own unique definition of success by committing to Personal Leadership, a personality-tailored approach to leading fulfilling and meaningful lives. Take control and choose to start your journey to becoming a Personal Leader today.
The following article outlines what I mean with Personal Leadership and how you can become a Personal Leader.

I define Personal Leadership as
Pro-actively and consciously choosing to lead life on your own terms and in alignment with your personal values thereby creating deeply meaningful experiences; effectively using personal strengths and self-coaching strategies to grow, connect and create results even in uncertainty while taking full responsibility for your actions (or lack thereof) and the life you are creating. 

In essence, becoming a Personal Leader is about becoming the pilot of your own life, a life aligned with what matters most to you.

Self-awareness and pro-active value-aligned forward movement are two core strands running through the life of Personal Leaders. 

When people decide to become Personal Leaders, magic happens in their lives. Not many people know what it means to choose the path of a Personal Leader or where and how to start their journey. I have designed a clear 4-step success path for you to walk. It starts with clarifying your values, continues with developing a Personal Leadership mindset, then creating a vision or script of your best and most fulfilling live ideas and culminates in putting it all into practice fully supported by me and others on the same path. I am here to coach and guide you along the way.

What does it mean to live like a Personal Leader?

Personal Leaders don’t just live life, they feel empowered to create life on their own terms like you would create a piece of art, write a novel or create a movie – not just once but repeatedly. Sure of their deepest values and what matters most to them, they have the courage to be authentic and extraordinary. They feel increasingly independent of external pressures and are proud to walk their own path rather than following the norm. They are exceptional autobiographers. By intentionally designing and creating exciting and fulfilling life segments aligned to their values, they create invigorating life phases full of meaning and purpose. They are proud of the rich stories they are creating, proud of who they are and have become. They feel deeply fulfilled, alive and connected. They feel pure joy. By inadvertently inspiring others in a myriad of ways, they feel their life matters. By consistently showing up as their true self, aligned with and loyal to their deeply held values, they radiate strength and trustworthiness. By living their personal values with such courage and commitment, they are easily recognised by others who share similar values, forging deep connections, inspired bonds and sparkling interactions.  

Not being a personal leader means your life remains governed by external circumstances, feeling more like surviving than thriving. You are wasting your full potential and precious time in your life. You might feel trapped and hide your true self from yourself and others. You might even feel forced to pretend to be somebody or something you are not for the quick fix of approval, only to feel empty and lonely again when the feeling wanes.

I have been there and know how frustrating it can be. Unfortunately, I recognised the issue too late and cancer was my wake-up call. Let this article be your wake-up call. We don’t need more suffering. Hard work should be rewarded with a great fulfilling life. Personal Leadership is your ticket.

What are Personal Leaders like?

AUTHENTIC
* Focused on creating meaningful lives aligned with their values and their own unique definition of success in life.
* Keen to connect and work with others on a respectful, deep and non-superficial level

FULLY ‘ALIVE’ & GROWING WITH AN OPEN-MIND
* Committed to own personal growth and development
* Embracing new insights, being curious and open-minded (about themselves and others)
* Highly self-aware and reflective (aware of their impact on others)

DRIVEN
* Pro-active, forward moving and open to change
* Eager to take responsibility (rather than blaming others or circumstances)
* Internally driven, motivated and self-actualising

RESILIENT
* Increasingly resourceful and creative in navigating obstacles/challenge
* Not afraid of failure and judgment

The supreme quality of leader-ship is integrity.
– Dwight D. Eisenhower

Personal leaders are life-long learners and develop the ability to flexibly and confidently deal with uncertainty in a pro-active forward movement. The reward for living in alignment with personal values is a meaningful life

Leaders go where no one has gone and blaze their own path.
– Robin Sharma

How do Personal Leaders Navigate Life?

In the first instance Personal Leaders possess an inner leadership compass that guides their actions and decisions. Personal leaders might not even be aware of having this compass. Their life experience and subsequent reflection led to the creation of their compass. With some dedicated effort and professional guidance anybody can develop an inner compass.

What is a Personal Leadership Compass & how to get it?

Your Personal Leadership Compass is a clear structured summary of your essence, of what matters most to you. It will serve as a tool to a fulfilling personal and professional life and becoming the person you want to be. In other words, it will be a concise overview and reminder of what is essential to you. You can start creating yours by taking the online course IVALYOO: A Personalised Compass To Your Best Life.

Why does Personal Leadership matter?

Personal Leadership transforms life on a personal, relational and societal level.

Not only do Personal Leaders experience more fulfilment, meaning and joy in their lives. They’re superior self-awareness and inspirational authentic way of life is also attractive to others, e.g. employers. Sharpening the soft skills that are part of personal leadership will set you apart in a competitive world. As if creating a meaningful life wasn’t incentive enough, employers are keenly seeking people who demonstrate personal leadership.

The current market requires graduate students to reflect on who they are and where they hope to be in the future. In addition the old axiom ‘know thyself’ could not be more appropriate for students in today’s highly competitive global economy. (Rubens et al, 2017, p. 11)

There can’t be any purposeful aligned forward movement and goal achievement without self awareness. As the linked Forbes article says, the most important element for career (and I add LIFE) success is clarity, clarity about what matters most to you (which will be an expression of your values). The lessons are true for men and women alike. 

A quote from the article:
“Successful professionals commit to increasing their awareness of who they long to be in the world, how they want to be of service, uniquely, and what’s in the way.  When you’re clear about that, and believe you’re worthy of your visions, doors will open and new opportunities for your growth will emerge.”

The moment you accept total responsibility for EVERYTHING in your life is the day you claim the power to change ANYTHING in your life. – Hal Elrod

Yesterday I was clever so I wanted to change the world, today I am wise, so I am changing myself – Rumi

Research shows a positive relationship between between self-awareness and leadership success. (Ashley and Reiter-Palmon, 2012; Goleman, 2004)

According to the Harvard Business Review, “Authenticity has become the gold standard for leadership” —Harvard Business Review, January 2015.

Currently only few people are aware that Personal Leadership is achievable for them. Developmental psychologists estimate that the number of people reaching the related concept of self-leadership or self-authorship ranges as low as 3% -35% at the most (Scott Jeffrey , Robert Kegan’s Adult Development Theory


So Let’s Remind Ourselves: What is Personal Leadership again?

Pro-actively and consciously choosing to lead life on your own terms and in alignment with your personal values thereby creating deeply meaningful experiences; effectively using personal strengths and self-coaching strategies to grow, connect and create results even in uncertainty while taking full responsibility for your actions (or lack thereof) and the life you are creating. 

Strand 1:  Self-Discovery & Self-Awareness (Values, Mindsets, Purpose/Vision)

Strand 2:  Value Aligned (not just impactful!) Movement Towards A Meaningful Destination 

Psychologist Carl Jung would call this individuation: ‘creating myself as a new fresh individual, not just following rules and laws or what everyone else says or does’. Sartre would call it the curse of realising that we are condemned to be free, forced to accept the responsibility of choosing our own purpose.
Realistically though, we are never totally free from external influence and pressure. So a more empowering way to look at Personal Leadership is to think of it as consciously choosing which rules you want to follow and which one’s you reject, accepting the consequences, while creating your own definition of success in life. The links to Self-Determination Theory abound but are beyond the scope of this article.

I am in! How can I become a Personal Leader?

To become a Personal Leader you could jump straight to the start of my 4-step guided success path to Personal Leadership. Your first step is clarifying your values with the cutting edge course IVALYOO. Or you could begin by assessing how much of a Personal Leader you already are. Given you are reading this article, it is likely you already possess important ingredients and capabilities or already live the value-aligned authentic life of a Personal Leader. Have a look at the table below: where do you see yourself?

This table reflects the transformation previous clients and course participants have reported. Do you see yourself more on the left or right side of the table?

Here is what to do next:

You can find out more about the 4-step guided success path or jump straight into the most important first step of value clarification by learning more about IVALYOO.  

My dream/vision

I hope my work will help young people develop and grow into powerful personal leaders who feel fully ‘alive’ and become the dominant force in their own story. I believe as Personal Leaders they will create extraordinary fulfilling lives, while making our world a better place. After all what the world needs is more people who have come alive.

‘Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.’ (Howard Thurman)

In fact, I wish that one day everybody can live their true self and full potential not just in their second half of their lives after a mid life crisis, trauma or retirement but right from the start, right from where it has the biggest impact. It’s especially heart-breaking to see young people getting trapped in expectations and circumstances, missing the chance to shape their life path, such that they become their best selves.

I hope my 4-step program will see many young people become not just Personal Leaders, but the inspiration for others to courageously build better futures. I believe that anybody can learn to become an outstanding Personal Leader if they are willing to put the work in. I will wholeheartedly support those who are willing to commit, empowering them to become more and more independent and powerful with each step they take.

Let me inspire you to transform yourself and become the best version of yourself in 4 simple steps. A thousand mile journey starts with a single first step. IVALYOO is yours.