When it comes to self-leadership, people get frustrated with themselves very easily, and rightfully so. It’s REALLY hard sometimes! It also doesn’t help that people who seem to do it well, do a poor job at helping the rest of us grow in it. They often give us the practices they use to maintain healthy self-leadership but not how they got to dig deep roots in the very importance of it.
Today, I’m going to give you the secret sauce and the King of the Jungle is going to help.
The King of the Jungle.
The Lion is championed as the King of the Jungle, and rightly so. Lions are fierce, powerful and yet still beautiful creatures. The first and foremost reason lions get this title is the mane that male lions develop as they mature. It’s recognized as their crown. The second is that they remain at the top of the food chain because they are willing to take on prey much bigger than they are.
This characteristic of being willing to take on prey sometimes more than 6 times their size has caused people to think of them as fearless or courageous animals. I think the truth is that they’re just stubborn. They see a meal that they are determined to have and are unwilling to let it slip from their grasp without a fight.
“Stubbornness is the secret sauce of self-leadership.”
Great Leaders Are Stubborn
Great leaders are stubborn about the right things. Sure, sometimes there’s a bit of selflessness and courage, but beneath it all is stubbornness. They are doggedly focused on a preferred future that they’re willing to sacrifice even their life for. The appearance of selflessness or courage is the result of the clarity and confidence that comes with such a sharp focus.
“This kind of stubbornness exposes how serving others without expecting much in return is freedom from disappointment and motivation to work smarter.”
Clarity puts things in the right perspective and focus helps you ignore the things that would be a waste of your time. When you’re stubborn about a preferred future, then clarity and focus will motivate clear decisions and surface needed sacrifices. This kind of stubbornness exposes how serving others without expecting much in return, for example, is freedom from disappointment and motivation to work smarter. It creates inside of the leader a concrete hope in the future they’re aiming to create and an unwillingness to give up on it without a fight.
Great leaders like Nelson Mandela, President Abraham Lincoln, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. are some of the greatest examples of this on a larger scale. Each one was stubborn about a united future for their country. Their decisions were difficult but clear. Their sacrifices were undesirable but I’m certain they saw them as necessary. They were stubborn about a future they simply could not give up on.
“Great leaders are stubborn about the right things.”
The Pocket Potential
The secret sauce of self-leadership is stubbornness. Identify the preferred future you can be stubborn about. It may be a personal fitness goal, a target for your next quarter at work, the restoration of a relationship or success of your business. It’s the future you’re willing to fight for and that you’re dying to create. A future you’d be willing to sacrifice for. When you’ve identified this future, be stubborn about seeing it come to life.
In the next 6 months, where do you hope to be in life professionally, relationally or physically?
- Write down a 1 to 2 sentence statement that clearly articulates your goal.
- Example: 6 Months from now I want to have more energy throughout the day and not feel sluggish. I don’t need to be “buff” but I want to be fit in a healthy way.
- Below that statement, write down what you think it would look like if you were stubborn about getting there.
- Example: I need to be stubborn about getting more sleep at night so I can wake up earlier. Also, I want to work out at least twice a week.
- Finally, identify and share your goal with someone you can trust to encourage you to remain stubborn about it until you get there.
- My accountability would probably be my wife, but a close friend, coworker, or family member is also encouraged.
What will you be stubborn about?
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