Let us be deeply honest for a moment, because this is what sincere, brave individuals and leaders do – they are brutally honest with themselves, others and the world! I recently tweeted this: “Leadership is…being honest with yourself; asking brave questions about life, about everything”
To all leaders out there, are you brutally, even frightfully honest, with yourself especially? I put it to you that until you have sat back and asked yourself these following questions, with real intent, you have not yet accessed the highest form of honesty any man, woman or child is capable of! These “honesty questions” take you right to the beginning. This is it:
Why was I born into this world? Why do I exist? What is the overall purpose of life? Why, specifically was I born in this country, into this family, with my specific talents and gifts? What is my personal purpose in life?
Have you genuinely asked these questions to yourself? And have you asked it over and over and over, until you pinned down the answer so precisely, that the clarity of it almost frightened you, yet at the same time excited you like nothing else? And then, as you moved forward, in time you surprisingly discovered that you actually continue asking these questions, either to ensure you remain on track, or to adapt ever so slightly as situations around you changed – marriage, birth of children, change in job, starting a new venture or some perceived crises crossed your path. Then, as life rushed by, you started seeing a pattern that the essence of why you are on this planet remains the same, though how you accomplish it; the direction is all that changes at times.
Are you absolutely familiar with this process I just described, no matter what your current standing in life? If your answer is “NO” you have not yet accessed that highest level of honesty, and therefore have not earned the privilege of discovering answers to how you can achieve your highest potential! I encourage you to work for it…work hard, because it is the only truly worthwhile journey – other journeys are mere flavours or imitations of it. And when you are on this high-road journey you become the kind of leader described as authentic, sincere, unique, amazing, special… Then only do you touch others on the deepest level, allowing them to also travel up this brutally honest and empowering path towards their highest potential! This is a dimension of leadership that very few have the privilege of entering! However, when you and I meet such an individual we know there is something special about them – we feel it but can’t always explain it, unless you are familiar with the journey!
How many people ask these questions as sincerely as I suggest in this article? I have a feeling not nearly enough. Some ask it casually but because it takes a lot of courage, maturity and endurance to push through, they give up and shift to category two – just getting on with life. Most, if they are honest with themselves, at times sense that quiet niggle in the back of their minds; a whispering reminder to address these questions. However, they allow the whisper to be drowned away by other louder voices competing for their attention, or they simply set it aside because they are just too busy with distractions of everyday life, which are many.
Be true to your instincts! Be true to that quiet whisper! Together with all your other goals and activities, make it a priority and life’s mission to find answers to these questions, because when you do, you and what you are capable of enter another realm, a space where you really can achieve your full potential; the actual reason for existing…today, where you stand.
To listen to this conversation with our weekly leadership master class panel – Louis Groenewald; Rich Simmonds; Myron Zaidel (co-founder Soviet Jeans) & Colin Wilford (Clinical Psychologist & Leadership Coach) with their wise input here: CliffCentral Show
Do you recognize some areas in yourself or your team that need improvement? Email Adriaan on firstname.lastname@example.org for more on creating “Leadership Fit” leaders that generate successful movement (performance) inside your organisation.