Leadership is personal
Leadership is deeply personal. It's not something that's "out there"; something that only some people have access to, while others don't. We all display forms of leadership to varying degrees in different domains of our lives. ELXI's mission is to provide training that helps individuals, teams and organizations embody a culture of leadership. With attention and effort we can all get better at the specific skills that comprise effective leadership.
In order to live the life of our choosing we must become very clear about what is important to us. Values are the secret ingredient that inform our intent and decision-making. Our values are the compass by which we make decisions and navigate life. Without a clear understanding of our values we literally are like a rudderless ship. Keeping our values front and center in our personal and professional lives is the basis for effective leadership.
The first step in cultivating leadership is to make the conscious decision to want to cultivate the skills required. Like anything in life, if we put our attention and time into it; if we commit to practicing specific skills we will over time become better. It all begins with directing our focus towards our goals and becoming more self-aware about what will move us towards (and away) from our personal values.
Understanding how and why things work the way they do is an important component to effective leadership. Once we begin to see the nature of how things work and why we do what we do, we become empowered to act and move in the direction of our choosing. Knowledge comes from the outside (science, teachers, etc.) as well as from the inside (direct experience). Both are necessary for true personal leadership.
Leadership is ultimately about action. It isn't enough to simply know our values. Effective leaders are able to translate their values and vision into concrete action; they literally embody their values and bring them to life through wise and skillful means. This is done by knowing how to leverage our strengths as well as compensating for our weaknesses.