I’ve had the privilege and opportunity of working a great deal with high school and college students. Over the years, I’ve identified a trend that I feel has a great deal to do with leadership potential. The age-old argument of whether leaders are made or born will generate controversy for years to come.
I’m a firm believer that many are born with a greater proclivity to learn, adapt, and pursue excellence instinctively. They are truly blessed with high energy, exceptional intelligence, extreme persistence, self confidence and a yearning to influence others. That doesn’t insure they will become a great leader.
A decade of research by the Center for Leadership Studies has proven that even those who weren’t prepared early in life to be a leader could definitely benefit from techniques designed to develop and master leadership skills.
Many other aspects such as experience, environment, culture, and self-esteem play an important part in the leadership formula as well. I’ve personally witnessed the power and results of strong self-esteem as well as the devastation which can result in the absence of this critical element.
For decades I’ve been sharing information with young people who have demonstrated a desire to pursue leadership roles in various aspects of their lives. One of the key elements I focus on is that of strong self-esteem. Young people seem to naturally fall into two distinctive groups: those who seem to feel very confident in their abilities and potential for greatness and those who struggle intensely with identifying their self-worth. The latter group, of course, will find great difficulty in achieving their leadership aspirations.
In an effort to establish a firm foundation of self-worth, I encourage young people to pause for a moment to realize how significant they really are. Reflecting on the successful outcomes of this exercise, I began using it with adults as well. I have an e-mail in my files from a middle-aged chemical plant supervisor who proclaimed that had he been exposed to this way of thinking 25 years earlier, he would certainly be much more successful today than he currently is. I was pleased when he closed his message with the observation that he realized it wasn’t too late to make a difference in his next 25 years! That’s a powerful message to share with a younger generation!
Some of the thoughts I share on this crucial subject of self-respect / self-worth / self-esteem is paraphrased from a book that has occupied a special spot on a shelf of my personal library for many years. The Power of Positive Doing by Ivan Burnell shares 12 strategies for taking control of your life. One of his many areas of focus is self-respect.
You may find it indeed rewarding to share the following observations with your children, grandchildren, students or employees. I’ve witnessed a wide variety of reactions over the years and the vast majority have been very positive and gratifying. I’ve seen people change their view of themselves after hearing this message. For some, I’m sure it was short term, for others I feel it truly had a lasting difference. What do you think?
Do You Know You?
You wake up each and every day in the driver’s seat of a modern miracle. It is your sole privilege and responsibility to direct that miracle in the right direction to achieve the personal success you desire.
Your mind, body and spirit form a exquisite organism—one which is capable of achieving almost unimaginable feats! Your body’s entire structure, from head to foot, is a miracle of precision engineering and production.
If you are an adult of average weight, this is a portion of what your body accomplishes every single day:
- Your heart beats 103,689 times!
- Your blood travels 168,000,000 miles!
- You breath 23,040 times!
- You inhale 438 cubic feet of air!
- You eat 3 1/4 lbs. of food!
- You drink 2.9 quarts of liquids!
- You speak 25,800 to 30,000 words!
- You move specific muscles 750 times!
- Your nails grow .000046 of an inch!
- Your hair grows .01714 of an inch!
- You exercise 7,000,000 brain cells!
A number of years ago a group of prominent scientists were asked if they could create a computer that could perform all of the functions of the human brain. After exhausting research and a great deal of theorizing, these experts came to a shocking conclusion. To reproduce the actions and components of a human brain:
- They would need to build a structure the size of the United Nations Buildings in New York City.
- They would need to fill that building with the latest technology.
- This massive, complex machinery would require a cooling system with an output equal Niagara Falls.
- It would require a power source that could produce as much electricity as is used by the entire state of California!
I’d like to leave you with this information in the hopes that you will consider the true power you possess. Are you utilizing it to its fullest extent? Do you truly realize your value and potential? What are you going to do about it?
Watch our blog for Part II of “The Miracle of You,” which is coming your way in the near future. In the meantime, create an action plan to capitalize on that extraordinary potential you know you possess. Drop us a note and keep us posted on your progress and growth as you inspire others as well.