In many respects, leaders are like experts…for every so-called leader or expert that says we should take ACTION A, there’s another so-called leader or expert that says we should take ACTION B. So, who are the leaders in your life, the people YOU turn to when you feel you need some guidance? Why do you consider these people to be leaders in any area of YOUR life? If I were to ask you and other people to define leadership, what would YOUR definition be? Each person would likely give me somewhat different explanations of what leadership means to them. Each of those definitions, however, would likely include some reference to MOTIVATION. A true leader, after all, should be able to motivate people to move in a certain direction to achieve certain goals. And so the question now becomes - what motivates YOU?
We’re all motivated by different things. Some of us are motivated by our families, some of us are motivated by financial gain, some of us are motivated by feeling appreciated, some of us are motivated by helping others. The question is….what motivates YOU? Just as with who you consider to be experts, the people you consider to be “leaders” in your life are likely those people who reflect the same types of thoughts, ideas and beliefs you have. It’s natural to be attracted to people who reflect our own thoughts, ideas and beliefs, but how do you know when someone is the APPROPRIATE leader for you?
When you think about it, it is a FACT that no one knows your life better than you. No one has experienced the exact same events in your life and reacted in the exact same way to those events as you have. Understanding and being aware of this fact, I submit that the best, most important, most influential leader in your life IS….or SHOULD BE….YOU!
You’ve probably heard of Dr. Benjamin Spock. Dr. Spock was an American pediatrician whose book, “BABY AND CHILD CARE” published in 1946, is still one of the biggest best-sellers of all time. Throughout its first 52 years, BABY AND CHILD CARE was the second-best-selling book, next to the Bible. Dr. Spock was the first pediatrician to study psychoanalysis to try to understand children's needs and family dynamics. His ideas about childcare influenced several generations of parents to be more flexible and affectionate with their children, and to treat their children as individuals. He was considered by many parents to be THE baby doctor. He suggested to parents that one of the best ways to raise children was to, “Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.”
That is excellent advice not only to parents, but to EVERYONE. Sure, it’s great to seek guidance and help from others….we ALL can use some guidance and help in our life. I challenge you, however, to take Dr. Spock’s great advice and “Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.”