A senior executive from a Fortune 100 Company was speaking with deep insight about leadership. At one point she indicated that a key proposition is to; “Lead from who you are.” She went on to tell a particularly powerful story about a man who became fully authentic and greatly influenced his people. As she finished, she spoke of development and she said, “We are all a work in progress.”
As I took notes I put stars next to the two sentences. When I went back to review, I examined her two sentences together and I wrote a new sentence; “Lead from who you are becoming.”
When we look at ourselves from a fixed mindset, we see ourselves as a noun. The self is fixed. “Lead from who you are.”
When we look at ourselves from a growth mindset, we see ourselves as a verb. “Lead from who you are becoming.”
Does the difference matter? When I am stagnant, life loses its meaning. I become filled with negative feelings. I tend towards depression and I have shrinking positive influence that sometimes becomes negative influence. When I am growing, life is filled with meaning. I am filled with positive feelings about me, about the world, and about other people. When I look at others I suddenly see potential in them I did not previously see. Why? Because when I am actualizing potential, I see others differently. I see more potential in them than they see in themselves. The best self in not an old self, the best self is the evolving self, the self that is realizing potential in the present moment. When we lead from the evolving self our influence peaks.
- Who is the most authentic person you know? Is the person stagnant or growing?
- What does personal growth have to do with personal influence?
- What could you do today to become more influential?
- How could we use this passage to create a more positive organization?