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How to become a leader?

The Energy Dynamic Analysis of Leadership Part 1

By guest writer, author and trainer; Jennifer Foster of Energy Dynamic

ED UpdatedMy name is Jennifer Foster and it is an absolute pleasure to write for this site so many thanks to Michelle for the opportunity. I am so looking forward to spreading the word about a new and unique way of understanding the nature of human beings. I thought I would start today by looking at a very popular idea; the one of how to ‘become’ a ‘successful leader.

How do you become a leader?

There are hundreds or even thousands of coaches out there who make an enormous fortune by training people how to become successful leaders. Most of them make their money by implying that it is important to change how you are in order to make it big. According to them, the reason that a person is not already a successful leader is because they are doing something wrong as regards their habits, thoughts or actions. These coaches stress that this fault is easily fixed if you really want to change these things and to improve yourself. ‘All you need’, they chant, ‘is a strong mind set and some instructions on how to do it!’ ‘And why is this?’ you may ask. ‘Because’, they smugly suggest, you surely realise that you could never possibly work out how to do this by yourself! The person on the receiving end of this line of reasoning then has three choices.

  1. They either agree to this way of thinking, and sign up for the programme;
  2. They do nothing as they are not sure what to do;
  3. Or they decide that this is not for them and leave.

If you are confident enough in your own abilities to choose option 2 or 3 then it will be suggested to you by them that you are either

A) ‘not ready’ to face your fears and to move forward or

B) that you are just one of the many millions of people who do not have ‘it’ ‘in’ them. Poor Mr A will continue to be subjected to the concentrated bombardment of emails from these coaches (who self-profess that they rely on the law of averages which guarantees that if you persist long enough with enough people, eventually some of them will cave in and buy the product) and social outcast Mr B will be given a wide berth, because he is, quite frankly, not good for business.

It is such a shame that people are being trained like sheep to become leaders (which is a complete contradiction if you think about it), and quite a large component of why I do this work is to provide an alternative way of looking and seeking improved leadership and business skills. The good news is that it is really very simple to become a force to be reckoned with in life, and I will begin to illustrate some basic facts to you so that you can see what I mean.  To start with I will list the first two steps towards understanding this now and will continue with this list next time.

  • Leadership is all about an idea, vision or creation. Every single person on this planet has a unique idea, vision or creation. Some people know what this is and some people don’t. The people who know what this is, are on the first step to becoming a front runner in a field. The people who don’t know this will struggle. It is that simple. Number 1 step in becoming a successful leader is to have a knowledge and an understanding of what your idea / vision or creation could be and a knowledge of what you already have inside you to achieve this.
  • Behaviour, actions and thoughts have got absolutely nothing to do with becoming a successful leader. It is the ideas, visions and creations of the person that is important. Because this is unique to every individual, ‘copying’ any elements of someone else will never take you nearer to your own special magic, so to speak. In fact, it will take you away from ‘how you are’ and will actually move you from where you need to be. It is also silly to believe in this secret ‘successful behaviour’ because it simply does not exist. It is like believing in the tooth fairy.

It is very nice and lovely, but unfortunately just not true. Look at the facts. Some of the most successful leaders of our time behaved appallingly; JF Kennedy (President of USA) had lots of affairs and took drugs for anxiety and sleep difficulties, Churchill had lots of health problems, drank too much and felt ‘low’, Michael Jackson was involved in child abuse allegations and was addicted to painkillers / other legal drugs and Richard Branson was involved in lots of failed business ventures and went to prison.

Do you think a coach would say these actions are successful? Of course they would not. So how come they are encouraging people who want to be successful to copy the behaviour of leaders? I really have no idea! Good or bad behaviour does not make you a successful leader. It is the person’s ideas, visions and creations that do. Beware of meddling with yourself and your thoughts / actions / behaviour. They are an essential and vital part of ‘who you are’ and to change them at this stage is dangerous. You need to leave everything about ‘you’ alone and focus instead on finding your unique talents and to learn how to use your imagination.

Avoid changing anything about you at this point at all costs. You may accidentally lose the very thing that you are looking for!

Jennifer Foster, author of Energy Dynamic