Leadership is being your best self. Easy to say, harder to implement. For starters, what the hell does ” be your best self” mean? And why is that leadership?
For me, being my best self, doesn’t mean achieving goals. It doesn’t mean going to the gym, eating the right food, studying the correct books. Being my best self is an exercise in self enquiry. It’s asking myself, the right questions without need for answer.
And when I am in this moment of presence, the need to solve and fix disappears. I’m calm and serene and at peace with myself. I can’t express in words the utter delight these few moments can bring. After years of intense anxiety as a result of a tonne of bad shit happening in tech, I feel at peace.
Being content with yourself is at the core of being your best self. Shame, guilt, self flagellation, anger, remorse, indicate to me that I’m somehow out of kilter. And to clarify, these are all powerful and useful emotions. But if not managed well, they can distort your sense of self. And when we’re unable to move on, move past the hurt, we are performing an act of self-harm. Experience has told me how hard it is to move beyond hurt. It requires self forgiveness, self acceptance, massive buckets of self love and more than a pinch of time. But move on I must. To do so is an act of self-love.
Leadership is hard, and even more difficult when it comes from place of inauthenticity. Without the confidence of being your best self , words and actions clank in their hollowness and only amplify the disparity between who you feel you are and what you are saying to others. It’s exhausting.
Good leadership comes from a place where you are your best self. Reading this you might be asking, “does that mean you’re not leading when in those dark times?” After all, arguably, don’t dark times have to exist if you are leading with authenticity and vulnerability?
I think back to Roosevelts “Arena” speech. That as long as you are daring greatly, you are leading. It may not be a leadership of others, but you are leading by being your authentic self. It takes courage to look inward and accept your flaws without attempting to fix them. But I feel this is what leadership is. It’s about showing up, falling down, then picking yourself up from the dirt with all your flawed glory and continue the great fight we call living.