Being a leader is a little like being a parent, says Lars Sudmann, a former corporate executive, in a TEDxUCLouvain Talk. Beforehand, we have all these rosy visions of how we’re going to do it, how incredible we’re going to be, and how we’ll sidestep the mistakes that we see other people make. But that’s not necessarily the case, right?
Being a leader implies a lot of effort, multitasking, wanting to do many things and not having the time for and, ultimately, being an ace at planning and organizing. Sudmann found a potential solution to these “classic leadership problems”. He discovered that Marcus Aurelius, the Roman emperor and Stoic philosopher focused a surprising amount of his energy on mastering self-leadership, instead of trying to guide others.
And because we think that self-leadership is important, we’ve created a list of actions that can help you be the leader you always wanted to be.
First things first – it’s really important to be aware of your shortcomings, which means that you need to know what your biases and weaknesses are. As an exercise, you can try thinking of someone you’ve worked with – what were the negative traits you’ve noticed? Do you share any of those behaviors? Once you know what are the areas you have to deal with, it’s time for the next action: engage in daily reflection. Each day, you should take 5 – 10 minutes to think about the challenges you’ve recently handled or the ones you’ll soon face. Last, but not least, try to regulate your feelings. Why? Because no matter how well prepared you are for your leadership job, there will be moments when you will feel anger or frustration. Try to create a scale and prioritize your problems. Then, you can focus on those who really affect your peace of mind.
These are just a few of the many tips you can apply in your day-to-day leadership life. If you want to listen to someone who has a great experience in working with big leaders, including Barack Obama, you should definitely come to TEDxBucharest Metamorphosis to meet the one and only, Jeffrey Eggers!
photography & retouch: Bogdan Mocanu, Oana Bardan - thebucharests.ro