A young trainee manager just managed to arrive in time for the training on leadership. His cheeks were flushed from running, and his heart was pumping.
The trainee asked the trainer, “what is this leadership stuff anyway? Isn’t it more important to get things done? Shouldn’t we be learning how to get things done?”
The trainer, an experienced leader, paused before she spoke, looking directly at the young man.
“The question is rather, ‘How do you lead yourself?’”
The student stared blankly, “I don’t understand. What do you mean?’
She replied, “For example, how did you get yourself up this morning? Did you look out of the window and see the rain and wind, thinking great, I’ve got to go out in that to listen to some fluffy emotional intelligence talk? Or did you get up thinking that this day is a day that I will learn new things, evolve and grow. Did you think, today is going to be a great day?”
”hmmmph” came the reply.
”Only when you know how to lead yourself will you then know how to lead others.”
The young trainee manager considered what she had just said.