A few days ago, an ALX Facilitator was discussing Leadership with Young Leaders, she asked, “How many of you think they are leaders?” For a moment, the room was greeted with long silence. I was in deep thought trying to evaluate whether or not I am a leader. In the end, few could answer that question. How many of you are in the dilemma of their leadership journey? What does Leadership mean to you? According to Warren Bennis, Author of ‘Becoming a Leader’, Leadership is the ability to translate vision into reality. Leadership, is about empowering others to be their best and allowing yourself to learn in the process. Influencing people and maximizing other people’s efforts towards achieving a common goal is leadership. But, can you lead others without leading yourself first?
Before practicing servant leadership (leading others), you have to learn to lead yourself first. Leading yourself means developing a strong sense of self, knowing what you can do and aiming to achieve your personal goals. It is about understanding your intentions, your values, strengths, abilities, weaknesses, and self-belief. The truth of the matter is, self-leadership could be the hardest thing to do. Fortunately, it is the best thing that you can do for yourself.
The ability to lead yourself makes you unlock your potential. However, self-leadership is a journey with challenges along the way. The more self-aware you are as a leader the more successful you become in life. Self-leadership provokes you to take ownership of your journey, which translates into becoming responsible and accountable for your actions. You can lead yourself in career, education, health, and relationships. Self-motivation is the driver of success as a self-leader since it makes you take actions when need be.
Additionally, self-leadership makes you more disciplined, focused and proactive. Learning more about yourself helps you become emotionally intelligent, understand the things that upset you and how you react to them. Emotionally intelligent people interact with others well because of their ability to communicate effectively. You will meet people from different walks of life and how you present yourself will determine how they treat you, their perception of who you are. There is need to influence their perception by reading into what they feel about you and using that knowledge to your advantage, that is emotional intelligence. The current climate of the workplace requires people who are emotionally intelligent with developed interpersonal skills to handle workload pressure as well as maintain a healthy personal life.
Finding job opportunities can be a daunting task especially if you are fresh from the University or college. More often than not, recent graduates get started in the job search with enthusiasm but end up doubtful and hopeless when their efforts don’t bear fruit. My take,do not become passive in your job hunt. It might be a nerve-wracking experience that may make you feel that helpless, but trust your process and be patient.
In as much as self-leadership in such trying moments might seem an impossible thing, keep on pursuing it. What if I told you that there are countless opportunities waiting to be discovered? The Launchpad program(ALX), from the African Leadership Group is offering you a chance to embrace your self leadership journey, explore careers from a different mindset and set your life on an upward trajectory. Self-leadership is at the core of any individual, it forms the basis of your life. ALX helps young potential Africans to unlock their potential. You will understand who you are and what you want from your career journey. Furthermore, you will get opportunities to explore and interact with people from different industries e.g engage directly with employer partners while honing your 21st century skills.
Warren Bennis was right when he said, “Taking charge of your own learning is a part of taking charge of your life, which is the sine qua non in becoming an integrated person.” ALX is your chance to gain skills that employers want, and build a professional network that you can leverage.You will be able to launch a successful career and a life of purpose by the end of six months.
If you are a high potential recent graduate and would wish to start your career or own venture, apply at www.alx.app. Join our community of Pan-African changemakers!