"Personal Leadership Mastery"
Your Success Thought for the Week of March 19, 2008

Jokes, judgment and satire aside, most of us are at least somewhat saddened to learn of yet one more high-ranking leader, Elliot Spitzer, misusing his power to bring about personal demise. This brings a question to mind that I am often asked: "Is it possible to be a great leader professionally and fail at it personally?"

As with all of life, learning to be a good leader is a journey, not a destination on which we can rest our laurels. Great leadership involves times of success, failure and discovery. I've seen the following scenarios cause great leaders to fail personally:

  1. They focus so narrowly on the success of their company that enough is enough. They shed their leadership role upon entering the sanctuary of their home.
  2. They surround themselves with people who will make their desires come true professionally, forgetting how much effort it takes to maintain the same level of success in their personal world.
  3. With immense power oftentimes comes a false sense of reality--what is right and wrong, doable or impossible, needed to grow both personally and relationship wise. Perhaps most vital of all, what does it take to stay true to their core values?

In The Tao of Personal Leadership, author Diane Dreher describes the leader's journey:

"All too often busy leaders get bogged down by the details of their jobs-- the duties, deadlines, budget crises, conflicts, and personnel issues. With our attention splintered, we cannot see the largest patterns of meaning.

The Tao Te Ching reminds us that,like the heroes of myth and legend, we are all on a journey of discovery. This journey, which Joseph Campbell called 'the hero's journey,' is the leader's journey - our life's journey, filled with significant crossroads, challenges and rewards. There are decisions we make--crossroads that irrevocably change our lives. We learn lessons about ourselves and others often in the most unexpected ways. And the challenges, even day-to-day hassles, are essential spiritual exercises, opportunities to build character and to become stronger, wiser and more whole.

Seen this way, every external action has an internal consequence. We are all on the path. The word 'Tao' itself means path or journey. The Tao Te Ching tells us that a life well lived is the greatest gift we an give to the world--or to ourselves."

Where does this all leave us? This is an excellent week to examine how we handle our leadership positions, both professional and personal. Are we so swamped by details or negativity that we miss the larger picture of the true leader we are at our very core?

Enjoy your discoveries and have an insightful week.


Ann - 02-08 P. S. We'd love to hear how you used our 'Success Thought of The Week' in your business or personal dealings.

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Permission is granted to either reproduce copy or distribute "Your Success Thought for the Week for March 19, 2008" as long as this copyright notice and full information about contacting the author is attached. The author is Ann Golden Eglé, Golden Visions Success Coaching, LLC, 541.385.8887, PO Box 1696, Bend, Or. 97709. www.goldenvisionscoaching.com

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