As I continue down this road in entrepreneurship I have come to notice an incredible tool, one that will bring change and growth to anyone who is wanting to really see explosive results in their life. Ok, I made it sound a lot better than it really is but it is still an essential part of any business. I'm talking about something called taking responsibility for your own personal leadership.
What is personal leadership you may ask? It's what I would describe as making sure you take the time needed to take care of your soul. Who you are on the inside, how you think, what you feed your mind, and who you surround yourself with. Are you receiving healthy input or are your own thoughts and those you let influence you dragging you down?
Building a profitable business can be exciting and fun but most of the business books that we read and the webinars and conferences that we attend focus on the outside skills of entrepreneurship such as marketing, sales, cash flow and other healthy business practices that will hopefully create growth for you. Personally, I agree that all these things are good and highly beneficial. But seriously we all know that what's happening on the outside is not necessarily what's going on inside a person.
This is what I call your personal level of leadership. This is a huge part of business and it will affect more than you know. As someone who as gone through depression I can tell you that how you think on the inside is what you will create on the outside. Sure, you might look like you are having the time of your life running an successful and fulfilling business. But how are you really doing on the inside? This is where personal leadership comes in. It's a new concept for me and it's not a subject that I can say I have an abundance of personal experience in but I am definitely becoming more and more aware of it's importance.
John Maxwell says it best (but seriously, everything John says is amazing) when he says, "The level of what you have around you or have been given responsibly for will rise to the level of who you are on the inside." For instance, on a scale of 1-10 if you are at a 5 on the inside and you are given an area of responsibly or a business that is operating at a level of 10, then that business will start to crumble and fall down to the level of your thinking and leadership.
Let's be honest, we have all seen this happen. The opposite is also true - if you are operating at a level of 10 and you receive a business that is a 5, that business will rise to the level of your leadership and thinking and will begin to thrive at a level 10 because that's where the level of your personal leadership is.
Basically you are what you think. Your household, relationships, family and business will rise or fall to the level of your thinking. So what do we do about this and how do we fix it? Well, this was a question that became more and more critical to me personally as our own level of business went up and and responsibility became greater. I came face to face with myself at a personal crossroad - do I stay where I am at or do I take responsibility for my own thinking and raise the level of my leadership on the inside?
Let me explain. As I said before I went through a difficult season of depression over a year ago. Because of this I was not a healthy person on the inside and no matter how hard I tried, I continued to see our own business efforts become sabotaged by my own thinking. I would light off like a rocket on a certain project but quickly come crashing down to the ground. No matter how much effort you put in, whatever you try to push up will eventually come back down to the level of your own thinking as soon as you stop pushing. It's just a fact. So I decided that to see real change I would have to say goodbye to the some of the ugliness that was still on the inside. For the benefit of my own family, my wife and those who I love, I knew I had to change something.
We have all seen what happens when a person gets into a relationship with a dominating person who has unhealthy and victim mindsets. Eventually that once-happy person will succumb to the other person's level of personal leadership and thinking and will slowly sink lower until he or she is at or below the level of the other. The same is true for your business - you have a relationship with it and with those who work in it with you. Look around and take inventory of how it's working. Chances are if you're the owner, boss or manager then it's operating at the level of your own thinking. Good or bad, the truth is the truth.
Well, after numerous collapses and personal failures I decided to take responsibility for my own personal leadership and thinking. How am I doing this? I now take time every morning to read and feed my mind on healthy thoughts of abundance and thankfulness. I do this with healthy books that are filling me up and not keeping me at the same level. Because of my faith in God, I use the Bible for a lot of this as I sit under the waterfall of His love for me. The old thoughts of victim hood and lack have been slowly dispersing as I continue to be diligent in this area.
But that's not all, its also important to watch who you are spending your time with. Are they people who are building you up or tearing you down? Or even worse, are they keeping you at the same level? Pay attention to who you allow to influence your life. You are and will be a product of your own thoughts and the thoughts of those you surround yourself with.
Whatever you do, I encourage you to start by raising the level of your own leadership and thinking by feeding your mind with healthy thoughts throughout the day. Make it a habit and practice as you eat your breakfast in the morning. This is just the start but I guarantee that you will see the light start to come in and your whole level of personal thinking and how you see yourself will change. It's a journey for me and I'm just getting started but it's one I am willing to take with courage to see the level of my leadership rise to new levels and also affect those around me. What about you?