Lead Oneself Before Leading Others

A leader must first learn to lead themselves before stepping into a leadership role over others.

A leader has no business attempting to lead others until they have learned to lead themselves. One who is unable to stand on their own two feet and face adversity alone is unfit to assume the role and responsibilities placed upon a leader. The grit and determination required to get out from under the thumb of another and on one’s own must first be forged before setting sights toward a position of leadership over others. 

Many do not realize how manipulated by society they are and how deep external pressures have sunk their claws into their soft flesh. One cannot be considered a leader if they are well within the grasp of someone or something else – such a person does not have the outlook required to do what is right and required in consideration of the situation at hand.

A leader must be freestanding and ready to accept the challenges that lie ahead. They must exhibit the strength to stand on one’s own beliefs of right and wrong. Conviction and belief in the plan is a must. A leader must earn the respect and trust of their team and, once earned, protect that respect and trust. This is accomplished through being the example of what others in the team are expected to be.

The bulk of this Transmission will come down to the fact that to be considered a leader, one must lead by example. To be the example one must embody the characteristics that they expect their team to display.

Do What Is Right

What is “right” in the sense of leading oneself? What are the rules that will determine the rightness of one’s actions?

One’s philosophy is the set of guiding principles that one acts in accordance with in order to be “right”. The Philosophy, as the guiding words, will inform what principles one shall act in line with. 

“Right” is relative to each individual just as one’s Philosophy is unique to one’s own values and goals. When one makes the investment to live to their own code, rightness or wrongness as projected by others does not matter. 

Right and wrong is subjective when put out to the masses – what is right and just to one may be wholly wrong to another. It is not a leader’s job to pass judgement upon the ideals of others, their job is to execute the code or strategy to which they have constructed. 

To do what is right takes discipline, confidence, and strength, which are all requirements of a good leader. It is not enough to do what is mostly right or sometimes right. If one wants to be an effective leader, one must buy into doing what is right all of the time regardless of circumstance or challenges associated with the action. 

Do It Consistently

Discipline and Integrity are qualities that any good leader will expect of their team and so they must first be understood and built within oneself in order to bring that with them to the team environment. A leader does not act based on motivation; instead, they act in accordance with their code.

A strong code and belief in that code will drive one to act with more intensity than motivation could hope to muster. A code should serve to be a burning fire that drives intense action toward reaching enlightenment where enlightenment is the realization of one’s Philosophy and values. 

Consistency, therefore, does not come from what one “should” do, it comes from what one must do to live in line with their values. There are few things in this world that are non-negotiable and mission success and one’s values must be of this category. A leader must approach a mission with an attitude that mission success is non-negotiable. The tenacity required to adopt this approach is a tenacity that only comes from one who declares that failure is not an option. A leader must first learn this for themself and then inspire a team to feel the same.

Develop Lacking Skills

A leader must be in control of themselves – emotional intelligence and ego must be developed to a level at which neither will impact one’s ability to lead. 

The inability to control emotions makes a leader unreliable and reactive. Emotion does not appeal to logic and emotional decisions are rarely sound. If a leader cannot segregate emotion from the task at hand, they will be putting their future team at risk of the fallout of poor decisions. Inefficiencies and doubt will run rampant through the ranks under a leader that reacts with emotion rather than acts with intention. A leader must be able to remain sound of mind when facing opposition.

The inability to control ego will make a leader untrusted as their motives for taking specific actions may be suspect. A leader with too large a sense of self-importance will appear to be out for their own interests over the benefit of the team. Their communication with their team will be poor as one’s ego will not allow for them to accept criticisms of their work. An ego is a dangerous liability in a leadership position as it will act similar to emotion in that logic does not stand. Logic will take a back seat to the actions that will serve to protect or build a leader’s ego. Rather than the interests and successes of the team taking top priority, a leader with a hungry ego will put their ego first to be sure that it is fed the buffet of validation that it desires. 

Do It For Some Time

Experience is the greatest teacher because the stakes are real. When one is facing a challenge head-on, it is a decision to take action or fail. These same stakes do not exist when reading a book – if a theory or idea is not understood, one can go back and re-read the section to try again. In the field, facing the challenge head on, one must rely on whatever skills and knowledge one has gained to that point and get creative in filling gaps. 

The best and most useful knowledge is gained through such experience. Experience cannot be gained from the pages of a book but must be collected through repetitive trials. 

A leadership position will generally come with some level of accepted experience and it is for exactly this reason. A principle or idea is not learned until one is able to put it to use in a real world situation. What looks to be a great plan on paper can quickly fall apart in practice as there are challenges and environments in the real world that are not accurately captured in the pages of a book. 

It is these unexpected obstacles that test a leader’s resourcefulness and sticktoitiveness. A leader must learn to see adversity as opportunity and forge the ability to remain present and make sound decisions when the original plan does not go as scripted. This is first done when a leader is striving for their own goals – it is here that tactics are learned that can later be transferred to a team setting where there are more moving parts to consider.

Leadership is serious business. As a leader, one represents their team. The leader becomes the figurehead of those that are under them. A poor leader will not develop their people, will not represent them in the proper way, and will not keep their best interests at the heart of decisions. The team relies on the leader and to assume a leadership position must be approached with the care and gravity that it warrants. 

Wrap-Up

A leader is not a boss or a manager – these are positions granted by title. Leadership is not a title but rather found in the makeup of a person. It is found in a compilation of specific skills and knowledge that allow one to be seen as the person best fit to lead a team to success and victory. 

Leadership is not an idea that should be approached lightly. Leaders are called upon to lead by example. A leader shall be prepared to assume whatever role the situation requires – there is no task that is below a leader as a leader is only concerned with mission success. The ability and willingness to perform any job within the team builds the camaraderie and trust required to foster strong team ties and the trust needed between leader and team. 

Again, one has no business leading others until they are equipped and able to lead themselves. To allow one who does not know the meaning of leadership to be put into a leadership role is irresponsible to the team and further setting that “leader” up for failure. 

Leadership is an Initiated Tenet for a reason – leaders embody the characteristics that the Initiated train for. It is the culmination of one’s study and training and will pull from all of the buckets that one has acquired and built over years of work. 

Lead yourself. Lead your life. Then lead others.

Yours in strength,

-Jersey

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