Lead Yourself First

Guest post by Susan Caba The ancient Greeks said it first: “Know Thyself.”  That timeless piece of advice was inscribed on the Temple of the Oracle at Delphi, and it’s been the basis of philosophical, psychological and self-help theories ever since. Most great leaders know themselves--their strengths, weaknesses and motivations--very well. Their self-awareness contributes to their effectiveness as leaders. Why? Because in order to lead others, you must be able to lead yourself. Self-leadership only comes with self-knowledge. It gives you insight into how others see and respond to you; it confers the ability to interact more successfully with others. This is as true for a relationship between two people as it is for the CEOs of enormous organizations. 4 Ingredients There are four basic ingredients in everyone’s personality or behavioral style. All four are present in every person, to different degrees. Just as the flavor and texture of a particular bread depends on its ratio of ingredients, spices and baking time, an individual’s personality depends on the varying ratios of all four traits. Nobody is all one style or another; no particular mix is better than the myriad … [Read more...]

“DAMN! I am the expert. And it feels great.” by Susan Caba

The notice on my freelance writing site said an agent was looking for a business expert to write a book on leadership. I had recently ghosted a business book (Break Points: Where Businesses Get Stuck) and I needed a new assignment. I decided to look over my publications and see if I could muster enough evidence to convince someone that I was a business writer. I’ve been interested in leadership and management for thirty-some years, in a casual way. Some of my newspaper friends were editors and we would often dissect their business knots. I covered city councils and other governmental organizations, as well as criminal courts--all of which required an eye on human interactions and their consequences. I wrote a monthly Q & A column, interviewing CEOs about their daily routines. But I certainly didn’t consider myself a business writer or an expert on leadership. In fact, I wasn’t sure what my strengths were as a reporter and writer. I’ve been a Jackie-of-all-Trades, which is good in some ways but left me scrambling for focus. If anything, I thought that focus would be the arts, artists and what I loftily refer to as “material culture” (stuff--I was a shopping … [Read more...]

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