Applying Leadership to your Life: 7 Actions for an Extraordinary Existence Paper

AnaMaria Rivera
Published Date: 
28 Jun 2013

Volumes written about leadership and its applications to organizations and millions of well-intentioned executives wanting to “improve their social skills” so their teams and companies can achieve greater performance and it seems like a blind-spot to question: how can we instill leadership in our companies if we first don’t apply it to our lives and selves? How can we even begin to imagine achieving quantum leaps in performance if we, ourselves don’t undergo a deep personal transformation first?

Seems crazy, but we all do it, be in our personal, family or work relationships, be to our parents, our children, our spouse or our employees: we keep trying to change them, their behaviors, their opinions, their reactions and sometimes even who they are, or at least know themselves to be. My only question to you is: how is that going for you? How successful have you been in trying to change the behavior of your employee who never gets to meetings on time and seems to create excuses that no one believes to be true? How successful have you been in having your spouse change that annoying behavior that reactivates you constantly? Let me guess: not very successful, and yet, you keep insisting in changing the other person. Sometimes, our insanity is so big that our father dies and 15 years after his death we keep fighting with something he did while he was alive, as if we could change the man that has been dead for years.

That answer: our personal transformation, not the change in others. As Mezirow defined it: “Transformation is a change in reality to the better, in contrast to a ´fixing of the problem´ approach” (Mezirow, 2009, 22). That is what I mean by applying leadership to our lives, miraculously we will achieve the performance results that seemed impossible while we were out to change the world without doing the most minimal transformational work on ourselves…

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