While leaders influence, managers direct. While leaders focus on what matters and why, managers focus on how. While leaders advice and counsel, managers command and control. My three main characters in Fabulous Veils, Gameela, Madiha and Fatema, were all managed. They were controlled and commanded by a family member.
What if these three Egyptian women had moved from being managed to being led? To which extent would their lives alter? Would they be ending the way they ended? And what would have happened if they had taken the ownership of their lives, leading themselves instead of waiting for someone else to take the lead? What would have happened if they had Self-leadership skills?
“The practice of intentionally influencing your thinking, feeling and behaviours to achieve your objective/s,” (Bryant & Kazan 2012)
It wasn’t a lack of objectives. The three main characters had objectives. They had dreams. Had they practiced this ‘intentional influencing” the novel would have taken a different detour. Not only the three of them had objectives, they were committed to practice too. Practising submission. Surrendering to misconceptions, wrong beliefs and worn-out traditions.
It took Claudette Colvin a moment to make a decision, to make a choice and to pick a path. In 1955, at the age of 15, this African American woman from Alabama refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus to a white person, in violation of local law. She focused on what matters and the why. She practiced intentionally influencing her own thinking. She refused to allow anyone to manage her life. She chose to lead her life. And by leading herself she changed the entire world.
How can we develop Self-leadership skills?
- Start with the end in mind, what is the goal, outcome, purpose?
- What do you need to do to get there? System, process, plan, resources…
- Take action! Focus on the goal not where you don’t want to go.
- Identify the help you need to stay on track. Ask for it!
“Self-leadership is having a developed sense of who you are, what you can do, where you are going coupled with the ability to influence your communication, emotions and behaviours on the way to getting there,” (Bryant & Kazan 2012)
Make a Decision, Change the World.