Short, train-of-thought manual for understanding leadership.
Leadership coach Bernard-Stevens has a blunt message for those who want to be a leader–you must lead yourself before you can lead others. His brief book is essentially an extended conversation (which he calls â€œmusings”) about the author’s philosophy of self-will. Bernard-Stevens believes that â€œthe power to lead is and always has been within each of us.” He explores how personal choice creates reality–the reality that each individual can think or feel whatever he or she wants. This results in â€œa sense of absolute freedom,” writes the author, though he cautions that â€œalong with that comes total accountability as well.” Bernard-Stevens’ point is that control of one’s life is the first essential step toward self-leadership and eventually leading others. Rambling at times and superficial at others, he does raise interesting issues for those on the road to self-leadership. The author urges the reader to list his or her beliefs and â€œassault them” with such questions as â€œDo we truly know these things to be true?” and â€œWhat do we actually know about this â€˜truth’ and are those bits of information valid or are they merely assumptions?” This is an important exercise, he writes, since it represents â€œfinding your core values and knowing exactly what they mean to you” To Bernard-Stevens, determining core values–and aligning actions with them–is the basis for being a leader. While this may be somewhat of an oversimplification, it does present a good perspective that other books on leadership might overlook–that leadership begins with leading oneself rather than others.
A quick read that still conveys some good advice about introspection and even better advice about what it takes to be a grounded and well-rounded leader.