January 09, 2005

Good day Team,

The coach’s challenge of the week is to consider ‘leading from within”. Leading from within extends and builds upon empowerment and participative management. It also reflects the core of the leader’s being. In fact, it is a way of being. Tips and techniques alone do not define leading from within. Leading from within is a combination of character ethics, including keeping promises, being honest, and exercising courage. It’s also about personality, or how personally effective we are in our work and our personal lives and if our actions are trustworthy. True leaders inspire by their actions, not just by their words. Ask yourself, “If I’m not leading from my inner guiding principles and values, what am I leading from?”

Here are examples of the different approaches that are taken by leaders who lead from within and those who do not. You will see that the left column represents actions that may be required to continue to be profitable whereas the right column represents actions that have purpose or meaning. Of the two, which actions are more sustainable and inspiring?

Numbers-focused purpose (external) Higher purpose/vision (within)

* “make a buck” approach * evokes higher values

* doesn’t mean much to employees * has personal application

* cold and impersonal * inspirational

* focuses on reports * focus on bringing out the best in people

* short-term results * long-term results

* ends when number reached * continues forever

Leading from within requires self-awareness. Unless you are familiar with your inner territory, you will not understand your core strengths or your flat spots. By observing your inner world as well as your external actions, you can see how integrated you are, or how much integrity you have. Is your behavior a good example of your inner values? Do you justify poor behavior in yourself and others because you’re at work and therefore, you don’t need to behave as well as you would with friends or family? Are you inspiring others by who you are as well as what you do and how you do it? Are you acting one way towards your team members but feeling the exact opposite internally?

“Each of us must be the change we want to see in the world”. Gandhi

Have a great week!


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