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Taking responsibility for Self Leadership

reprinted from the May 2003 edition of Essentials


   I am currently discovering that my job at CMS is far bigger than I had originally thought. However, I'm comforted by friends who tell me that "new jobs are always bigger than we at first think!" Paul Arnott is the State Director CMS in Victoria
   I've been dipping into a superbly insightful article by Bill Hybels, the senior pastor of Willow Creek Church in Chicago, called "The Art of Self Leadership". In it he relates reading a comment from Daniel Goleman, the author of the best-selling 1997 book Emotional Intelligence. Goleman has analysed why some leaders develop to their fullest potential and why most hit a plateau far from their full potential.
   He suggests that what distinguishes good leaders from the less good is self-leadership or what he calls "emotional self-control." What characterises maximised leadership potential, according to Goleman, is "Tenaciously staying in leadership despite overwhelming opposition or discouragement. Staying in the leadership game and maintaining sober-mindedness during times of crisis. Keeping ego at bay. Staying focused on the mission instead of being distracted by someone else's agenda".   
   Goleman says that the most effective leaders show high levels of emotional self-control: "Exceptional leaders distinguish themselves because of superior self-leadership."   
   The example of self-leadership par excellence is Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus never allowed himself to become sidetracked by the agendas of others, no matter how compelling those agendas seemed. He always kept his eye on the ball.   
  In my final year at Ridley theological college in Melbourne I learned the lesson that I am responsible for my own learning. No matter how difficult certain people in my life may be, I can always learn from them, even if sometimes I'm learning what not to do. I am also learning that I am responsible, under God, for my own self-leadership. No one else will do it for me. It's my call, my responsibility, no matter how much I'd like someone else to do it. So I need to make time to reflect on the experiences that God allows life to bring me that I might learn and grow from them.  

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