Personal Leadership for the Present Moment
By Catherine Palin-Brinkworth

Has your work environment changed in the last 12 months? Have you found it challenging?

At a conference recently, I asked everyone how many had undergone major change recently. The ocean of hands made me seasick!

We are in a time of the fastest change in human history. Never before, in peacetime, have we been required to be so adaptable, so flexible, yet so focused.

Personal leadership for the present moment is about predicting and managing change. Personal leaders are people who lead themselves forward with strength and confidence so that others may be inspired to join with them in equal strength and inner belief. Personal leaders create a point of reference. They create, claim and embody success.

Here are a few of the essential skills and qualities:

1. Vision 
What does your ideal world look like? How would you like your family to be … your workplace …your business …your industry … yourself? Only with a vision of the desired outcome can you even begin to achieve it. It may change constantly, as it does, and so will the method of achievement. But a constantly renewed vision is essential for personal leadership . 

2. Optimism 
Boost the vision with a positive belief in its realism! Martin Seligman's work with Learned Optimism is wonderful; from a totally scientific base he has created strong evidence that when we believe, we achieve. Not with naive foolishness, but with awareness and sound information. Using De Bono's 'black hat thinking' to explore potential risks, but with a faith that knows we can overcome obstacles with commitment courage and creativity.

3. Action 
Whatever we want our ideal world to be, action will be necessary. It may be an uncomfortable change of habit or a courageous new beginning. It may be huge fun! And, it may be extremely uncomfortable. Do it anyway! Personal leaders take action. Any is better than none, in a changing world. There's no such thing as a wrong decision-everything will take you somewhere-and even so-called failures are valuable lessons. Aren't they?

4. Communication 
All leaders call on this skill as their major tool of trade. Personal leaders need it too …the ability to stand on your feet and state what you want and why … the ability to share your vision and inspire others to support you in it …the skill of honest, well prepared negotiation to create your own circumstances or change them. The understanding of different personalities, different behavioural styles, different age and gender needs, different cultural orientations …the ability to speak your mind clearly and easily, with the right words at your command, with sensitivity and respect but with truth.

5. Confidence 
Many people ask me for advice or help on developing confidence. It's simple. Confidence is about trust. When we trust ourselves, we have self-confidence. The greatest barrier is self-criticism. Not honest self-evaluation with a desire to improve but the negative, destructive, soul destroying self-talk that often consumes us.

I often ask audiences, "How many of you have ever felt inadequate?" It's sobering how many feel incapable or unworthy almost every day in some way! Yet everything we have ever done has been the best we could possibly do at that time in that place. When we really get this, and stop our self-flagellation, life gets easier, more joyful and more successful. Somehow, we then stop beating up on others as well and their level of trust in us develops accordingly. Try it! You'll like it!

So, I dare you: 
Rate yourself out of 10 for each of the above. 10 is perfect and 1 needs work. Be pleased if you discover an area of weakness (we all have them), and personal leaders acknowledge and improve on them. Only fools live in denial and maintain the status quo.

Because the truth about life in this new millennium is, there is no status quo. There is, in our tangible material world, absolutely nothing that is permanent. Only when we forget that, and cling to what is passing, do we incur discomfort.

A calm inner strength accompanies the personal leader who knows that all will pass in time, finding peace in the middle of chaos. Find the present moment. Find your own magnificence, and revel in it. Self-development will be a primary key for success in this new millennium, I promise you.

About the author: Catherine Palin-Brinkworth is an international presenter, consultant and author on business and personal success strategies. She holds a Masters Degree in Social Ecology and is a Certified NLP Practitioner.

A powerful, inspirational presenter with practical and proven success skills and strategies, Catherine is in constant demand as a keynote speaker. Her web site is www.catherinepalinbrinkworth.com

The original version of this article can be found at www.positivepath.net/ideasCP2.asp