The goal of self management for leaders is to maintain effectiveness and efficiency in leading, and to improve in one’s leadership. There are numerous writings on leadership available everywhere but this article focuses on the most important of all the elements of success – the people element. Specifically, it argues that particular people are essential to attain the emergence of a leader character, maintain it and improve it. Further, I will explain here why and how people, the other, play their crucial role in bringing out to the front the leader in a person, keeping it forward and building it up to maximize its potential.
John Donne said,
“No man is an island entire of itself.”
These words assert the social nature of humanity.
Filipino Concepts: “Sarili” (the self), “Kapwa” (the other) and “Sakop” (group)
In social psychology and sociology, the self (sarili) emerges from the interaction with the other (kapwa). Without the “other” or “kapwa” there is no self. Consider how a person, either a man or a woman, changes with the presence of the other. What is a person without the other? A soloist or a loner? In the company of an other, no person remains a soloist or loner. With just another on one’s side, there might be a duo, a pair, a partner or a dyadic team. If the other is somebody unknown to him or her, then he or she is a gringo (stranger). If acting hostile, then an enemy but if in good manners and propriety then a potential friend. If the interaction gets further, the man may become a lover to the other, or a fiance. And if they get married, then the man becomes a husband. If the other gets pregnant and gives birth, then the man becomes a father. All these characters can be of the same person depending on the presence, or absence, of the kapwa and how they interact, which also depends on their relationship with each other.
The collective of these others could form the breadth or extent of one’s influence (sakop). Again, if there is just one person and an other then there could be a pair. If there are three then a trio and so forth. More individuals together then there is a crowd or a group. Or, may be they are a team. It depends on their relationship with one another. These others could make or break a person as a leader. An awareness of the realities surrounding these network of relationships and a working knowledge of harnessing these can serve as a basis for gaining advantage in achieving and sustaining leadership success.
What does it take to become a leader?
“He who thinks he leads but has no follower is just taking a walk.” – Chinese Proverb
A person must have a follower to be a leader. In the absence of a follower, then the person is no way a leader. It is only through the other that a person is a leader. Turning a leader out of yourself requires finding an other, a follower, and one maintains one’s leadership by managing the other. Go very fast and abandon the other and you lose your leadership but stay within a distance ahead of the other and your leadership is maintained.
How to expand your leadership?
If you can act within the interactive range with the other, your follower, and find a second other, or three or more, who could be your followers, too, then your influence expands. Keeping every other within the range of interaction is a must. All the others may be within a geographic range or interaction range. In Filipino, they are referred to as your “sakop”, your group or jurisdiction.
So much for this for now. I will talk more on Self Management for Leaders on my next blog (I will expand this).