Here is the reality, folks: your leadership is an inside job. Your leadership effectiveness begins with what is inside you. Who you are and who you are becoming charts the course of your influence –your leadership.

It has been said that “the first person you lead is you.” Albert Schweitzer spoke on the meaning of leadership; he said, “Example isn’t the main thing in leadership, it is the only thing.” Well, that may sound a little out there. I believe Schweitzer was saying that all your words as a leader mean nothing if your life doesn’t back it up. We must lead the pack if we expect our people to develop and grow. We must be the locomotive pulling the train forward.

From time to time, I have found it helpful to assess my growth in critical areas of my leadership. Today, I’m challenging all of us to look inside—not a quick peek, but careful examination. For example:

  • Are you living out your stated values?
  • Are you Always present in your one-to-one interactions?
  • Are you as good a listener as you should be?
  • Are you consistent and predictable in your actions and behavior?
  • Are you transparent and authentic all the time?
  •  Are you striving to get better? If so, what does better look like?

I would like to ask you today to put a plan in place in that one area that needs attention. I promise you it will make a difference. The bottom line is to be the picture you want others to see.