Leading oneself

Leading oneself

Leading others is one thing, but how effectively do you lead yourself?

Sir Richard Branson once said: “Above all, you want to create something you are proud of … That has always been my philosophy of business. I can honestly say that I have never gone into any business purely to make money. If that is the sole motive, then I believe you are better off doing nothing.”

In the same vein, effective self leadership requires identification of one’s passions or drivers.

Consider the following to assist in identifying your passion: What do you actually enjoy doing? How do you get more out of what you currently do? Do you ever take risks or is your life very predictable? How easily do you give up when things are not going well? When was the last time you set goals for your life and have you achieved any of them lately?

Think of the Rolling Stones – four men in their sixties who should be thinking of settling down to a regime of golf and strolling along the beach. In 2005 they began touring to promote their new album. They had already produced 42 albums, selling 38 million copies. Why keep on going?

Their passion for music and a need to create more entertainment drives them. Finding your passion means connecting your head with your heart, engaging that part of yourself that feels in a big, bold, spiritual way.

Follow these steps to assist in identifying your passion:

Connecting with your passion begins with practising good self care. Slow down, spend quality time with yourself, take care of your body and mind, nurture your spirit and do activities that move you out of your head and into your body.

Become sensitive to your environment: do a little exploring to discover the specific personal things that ignite your passions. Spend a week paying close attention to what excites, touches and inspires you to think in a whole new way – or even frustrates you. You will find clues in the newspapers, TV, conversations and your own home.

Answer a series of questions:

• What interest, passion or desire are you most afraid to admit?

• What would you do if you knew you could not fail?

• What do you like about yourself?

• What would you do if money was not a concern?

• What do you dream about doing that you’ve never told anyone?

• What do you fantasise about doing while driving or taking a shower?

• How could you make the world a better place for yourself and others?

• Who do you think you are? Student, mother, boss?

• What did you love doing as a child?

• What is stopping you from exploring your passion?

• List five things you want and five things you are good at. Do you know the difference between them?

• What drives you, and what give you satisfaction?

• When you were young did you know what you would do as an adult?

• How would you like the world to be?

• What would you regret not having done if your life was ending?

Now, take a risk: stop thinking about your passions and start doing something. Try something new and challenge your fear with action. If you are not sure of what to do, ask a trusted friend or family member.


Jannie Koegelenberg is passionate about promoting positive customer experiences. He runs the EDGE Training Consultancy, a leading provider of world class training and development programs that meaningfully change and impact on people’s lives. He has a 38-year track record in the motor industry, having worked at Mercedes-Benz distributor United Cars and Diesel Distributors, Ford Motor Company SA and Toyota SA Marketing.

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