Leadership is often a misconstrued term. Before I began my self-improvement journey, I likely would have told you that being a leader is telling people what they need to do to succeed. You know, the person in the big corner office that sticks their head out and shouts orders at the employees. The person that delegates the work of the projects and then scrolls through Facebook while others are working. Over the past 27 months of my personal growth and development, I’ve discovered that the only way to lead people is to be the example from the front.
It’s in leading yourself that you can lead all of those around you. A true leader will lead from the front. Let me explain.
Casting a Vision into the Future by Leading Myself
About a year ago, I began sending text messages of appreciation to my wife, Lindsay, on a daily basis. I would wake up and write her something that I love about her, something I honor her for, or something that I appreciate about her. These are not random situations of love and appreciations of things from years ago. These are instances from within the past 24 hours. I’m tying in things that are impactful in our life and marriage at the present time. I also send messages to our daughter so she, too, would know that I love and honor her as well. By doing this, I am casting a vision into the future about how we are going to correspond together as a family and hold each other in love and gratitude on a daily basis.
If I’m being honest, when it came to messages for my wife, there was a small part of my subconscious that was hoping for a text message back or response that creates some mutual level of adulation. Lindsay wasn’t expecting any of these messages. Like I mentioned earlier, you don’t announce you’re making huge changes, you just make them.
My wife, of course, would see me in the morning and thank me and tell me that she loved me, but that was it. I didn’t get a text back. For days and weeks, she would say thanks but never send anything back. Don’t feel bad for me, there is a gift here.
You see, by leading myself, I began to lead a way for my family. In love and honoring both my wife and daughter and being consistent with my daily messages, they began to see and believe the change in pattern. They liked the way the messages made them feel. They saw the example I was setting and they honored my commitment to myself and them. I knew I wanted my family to operate within love, gratefulness, and appreciation for each other on a daily basis, so I lead from the front.
A Commitment to Change
I messaged them every day (and still do) because I want to and it’s how I truly feel about them, not for outside validation. However, within several months of daily messages—and a commitment to change my patterns and develop a system for myself that was optimizing my life—my wife and daughter began to adopt the same system. I started receiving daily messages from both of them as well. I began to feel the dynamic in our family change because we were all setting the tone of gratitude for each other each day.
If there is an area in your life that you want to lead, whether it be within your home or office, look internally to see if you are doing the same work yourself that you expect from others. True change comes from within, and when you are ruthlessly committed to that change, others will take notice. Lead from the front.