Leading from Within

12 Steps of Self-Leadership: The Difference Maker's Guide

Leading From Within

From: 12 Steps of Self-Leadership 
By Doug Lester / Cheryl Lester
Excerpt #01.002.1

 

Welcome to 12 Steps of Self-Leadership.

  • Are you seeking a journey of Self-discovery and Self-development?
  • Are you ready to break free?
  • Do you feel you are capable of being and doing more?
  • Are you tired of status quo living?
  • Are you seeking a compelling purpose?
  • Are you intrigued by the idea of being a Difference Maker?

If you answered ‘yes’ to one or more of these questions, then join us as we guide you on an exciting adventure toward realizing your true potential and being a Difference Maker.

We have written 12 Steps of Self-Leadership to provide a map for courageous people like you who are ready to live and lead at new levels of engagement. Each Step of the 12 Steps contains a concept that if fully embraced will change your life and your Difference Making Quotient™ (DMQ™) in life, work, and relationships. However, the sum of the parts of the 12 Steps when integrated and practiced on a regular basis will be much more powerful than any one of the concepts on its own.

We realize there are many reasons why people come to Self-leadership programs. Some of you are reading this book because you are already on a journey of Self-discovery and Self-development and you are seeking to enhance your skills and add some new levels of understanding. Some of you have moments of discomfort and a sense that you are capable of more than you are asking of yourself. Others are comfortable in your present routines, but are intrigued by the idea of being a Difference Maker.

For many of you the need for change is crying out. You are drowning in a sea of boredom and drudgery. You need changes now in order to survive. You are struggling at work, at home, and in all aspects of life. You are angry, scared, confused, and desperate. You may look good on the outside, but you know that your inner life is out of control. You are at a point in your life when you have begun to question the path you have been on, your work, and your relationships. Just getting through the day is depleting you. You face real life issues and you need real life answers now. You are searching for a new way of being and doing that will give you a renewed sense of purpose.

Whatever brings you to this opportunity we invite you to explore what is possible if you commit to Self-leadership and an increased Difference Making Quotient. We have written this book with a Fast Track section for a quick overview of the Step. These executive summaries will serve as a quick read of the key elements, leadership value, and guiding principle of the Step, and give you a Foothold to anchor the concept, and act as a touchpoint in the future as you revisit the 12 Steps, or focus in on one of the concepts as you continue to use the 12 Steps as your Self-leadership handbook.

The questions and exercises at the end of the chapters are written in a way that allows you to use the Stepping Stones as a pathway to deepen your learning. We also offer light and lively Travel Tips statements that will encourage and guide you along the way.

As leaders, learners, and life and business partners, Cheryl and I have been ‘writing’ this book experientially for a combined total of 130 years and as leadership coaches for the last 20 years. Although I have done much of the actual writing, Cheryl has been a thought and writing partner every step of the way. Both of us experienced losses in childhood. Both of us have been through divorce. Both of us have been deeply involved in faith-based communities and spiritual study. We have lived and coached every concept we write about. Both of us have been involved in senior leadership positions in large organizations. We have coached and mentored leaders in Canada and over 55 other countries around the world. Through our work, we’ve also created development programs and curriculum for management and board members within the not-forprofit sector, and led a number of workshops/retreats designed to help leaders develop inner awareness that increases outer effectiveness. Through early morning debates and midnight solitudes, through personal crises and relationship disasters, through leadership successes and business failures, we have traveled the Self-leadership path we are guiding you on. Through writing, coaching, mentoring and consulting, nationally and internationally, our ideas have been tested and enhanced in the crucible of reality.

For those of you who need immediate shifts in inner awareness and outer effectiveness, we have created a Fast Track section proceeding each of the Steps. These executive summaries will serve as a quick understanding of the key elements, leadership value, and guiding principle of the Step, and give you a Foothold to anchor the concept. These are by no means a replacement for doing the work of the Leadership Quest. As soon as you complete a quick overview we encourage you to circle back to the beginning and work the 12 Steps over the coming year.

As you interact with the concepts and use the 12 Steps as your Self-leadership handbook, the questions and exercises at the end of the chapters are written in a way that allows you to use the Stepping Stones as a pathway to deepen your learning. We also offer light and lively Travel Tips statements that will encourage and guide you along the way.

This book is designed to help you systematically build a set of skills and attitudes that will increase your DMQ in all aspects of your inner and outer life. Drawing from many of the greatest teachers and thought leaders of our time, our book will provide you with principles, concepts and practical Steps that will serve as a handbook for further learning and a reference for years to come.

We need to point out from the start that we are choosing to capitalize ‘Self.’ We believe each of you at your core is creative, resourceful, and whole. Your best Self is capable of much more than the small “s” social self that often flits through your life. Your current state of affairs and your DMQ directly correlate with how effectively you are Self-leading your FISC™— your own ‘royal treasury’ of Facts, Influences, SoulDNA™, and Characters that makes you ‘you’. As you work with the Steps, increased Selfawareness will give you access to new levels of potential and transform your life from the inside out.

The 12 Steps of Self-Leadership is a process, not just another book to be read and placed on your shelf. Learning to live from within while being fully engaged in the outer life is not a simple task. The noises and demands of the outer world and the frantic pace of living often push our best hopes and inner wisdom to the margins of our awareness. Yet the answer is not in escape from the outer world but in synergy. Self-awareness is best served through the interplay of the inner and outer worlds. Effective Self-leadership integrates and synergizes inner awareness with outer effectiveness.

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