On Leadership

January 11, 2012

It’s a concept that’s been around for ages—leadership for the self. St. Augustine said, “Conquer yourself and the world lies at your feet.” Miguel de Cervantes said, “Make it your business to know yourself, which is the most difficult lesson in the world.” And most recently, Vince Poscente said, “Before anyone can reach his full potential as a leader, he must first be a leader to himself.” While this notion is not new, the way that Poscente presents this empowering idea in his book The Ant and the Elephant is refreshingly unique. Weaving a clever parable around profound concepts that can have an immediate impact on our lives and the lives of our organizations, Poscente demonstrates how we can unite the powerful forces of conscious and subconscious thought to reach our peak performance levels. Enjoyable, insightful, and eye-opening, The Ant and the Elephant teaches how to put into practice what great minds have known: to lead others you must first be able to lead yourself.

Excerpted from The Ant and the Elephant

Before anyone can reach his full potential as a leader, he must first be a leader to himself. He must capitalize on innate talents and strengths, challenge the habits that hinder his growth and manage the fears and negative emotions that frequently keep him from realizing his goals.

As you know, our minds function in two distinct spaces—conscious and subconscious thought. Our “ant” is the intentional part of the brain—houses our critical, analytical thoughts. Our “elephant,” however, is the instinctual, impulsive part of the brain—it houses emotions and memories and even guides the body to perform its vital functions. While we tend to know our conscious minds—or ants—rather well, we often overlook the power of our elephantine subconscious minds. Unfortunately, when we do, we squander a wellspring of human potential.

Imagine a tiny ant on the back of a massive African elephant. No matter how diligently that ant marches east, if the elephant he sits upon travels in the opposite direction, the ant will end up even farther west than his starting point. Similarly, we will find ourselves receding from our goals if our conscious and subconscious minds are not aligned. What elephant-like aspects of our personalities hold us back from meeting challenges? How do our emotions get in the way of our ability to act and communicate effectively? What does it truly mean to commit to realize a dream?

A good leader may recognise that he indulges elephant-like habits that keep him shy of his goal—but a great leader does something about it. He confronts the behaviors and routines that keep his subconscious stuck. He works to refashion deep-seated beliefs, attitudes and truths so that they support his conscious efforts. The great leader conquers his hidden fears, antes up and makes an emotional investment in his vision to show others the way to success.

 

To your abundant success,

Leon Skaliotis – Founder, Retail Fundamentals.

Leon is an accomplished business coach and retail specialist in Melbourne, Australia, who  successfully coaches Melbourne retail owners on how to create highly profitable businesses by attracting shoppers and converting them into loyal fans.

To receive your free copy of “Retail Secrets Every Owner Should Know” click www.retailfundamentals.com.au

You can contact Leon on +61 425 83 3344  or email info@retailfundamentals.com.au

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