“You cannot hope to build a better world without improving the individuals. To that end each of us must work for our own improvement and, at the same time, share a general responsibility for all humanity.” – Madame Curie
Madame Curie was a pioneering scientist with a passion to help others, and the first woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize. Her research in radioactivity and invention of the portable X-ray machine literally saved thousands of lives. Madame Curie’s life story is a role model in self-leadership.
Now, imagine working for an organization whose leaders understand the power of self-leadership. Imagine building a culture based on the belief that “We cannot hope to build a better business without improving the individuals who work here.” Think of the impact this can have on revenue, profit, customer loyalty, morale and productivity.
Self-Leaders: Born or Made?
We all possess the ability to lead. Yet too often, the majority of messages people receive, starting early in life and as they grow up, suppress their leadership potential. Then, upon entering the workforce these same people are expected to ‘step-up’, ‘take charge’ and be ‘empowered’ to make decisions or take risks, even though they may lack the confidence, knowledge, skills and attitudes required to be self-leaders.
Culture and Leadership
Senior managers and business owners often fail to see the critical link between self-leadership and business results. They may seek to control employees’ actions and centralize power through top down directives or the overuse of their positions of authority. This compounds organizational problems as top performers flee the toxic environment these methods create.
Effective leaders know it is far better to develop self-leaders – at all levels. They foster a culture of self-leadership with clear guidelines that enable their employees to take action. Great leaders help each person unleash his and her potential. It takes a commitment from the top to develop a workforce of aligned self-leaders. Are you up to the task?
Questions to Consider:
- Do we have a leadership development plan for our organization? Is the plan documented for each employee and aligned to our strategic goals?
- Have our people internalized our vision, mission and goals? Do they understand their role in achieving them?
- Have we created a culture where people can step up and take charge within well-defined guidelines and without fear of retribution or job loss?
- Are we committed to continuously improving our people, and their ability to lead themselves and others?
- How do we know we’re getting a return on investment in leadership training and development? Can we measure the impact on revenues, profits, customer loyalty, employee satisfaction, turnover, market share and other key metrics?
Build self-leaders. Build better results.