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Can you make a great leader?

Kimberly Nicoletti
High Country Business Review

Can you manage your own thoughts, emotions and physical well-being? If so, you possess the key ingredients of a great leader.

Brent Smith challenged people to answer nine questions about leadership’s missing component ” self management ” at the annual Breckenridge Resort Chamber meeting Thursday.

“How well you lead yourself is how well you’ll lead others,” Smith said, adding that a person must persevere in leadership despite any discouragement. “If we could get the idea of self leadership down, we would be able to offer our people the best of ourselves because we’re taking care of ourselves.”



He posed nine questions to reflect upon in developing a strong self-management system:

– Is this your calling?



Are you in the right place, or are you mismatched with where your strengths lie?

One of the most frustrating things in life, he said, is leading in a place that you’re not meant to lead.

– Is your vision clear?



Leaders carry the vision of where a company is going. If their vision is fuzzy, their employees also will be foggy about where they’re going and how to get there.

“Everyone is looking to the leader to see where we’re going,” he said.

– Is it your passion?

If you’re not passionate, you’re probably not inspirational, he said. In order to cultivate inspiration, especially in down times, Smith suggests identifying and surrounding yourself with things that inspire you, whether it’s physical items, inspirational books or a list of reasons you’re passionate about what you do.

– Are you developing your gifts?

Smith said you should be able to rattle off your top-three gifts as fast and as automatically as you write your address. If you can’t, take time to figure out your talents.

– Is your character sound?

Smith believes leadership requires integrity in order to gain and maintain respect.

– Is your pride subdued?

Confidence sometimes can come across as arrogance, Smith said, especially when people feel insecure. He encourages transparency ” to the point of asking employees if your words or actions convey arrogance.

“Leaders are always students, in a position of humility,” he said.

– Are interior issues undermining your leadership?

Alhough everyone goes through hard times and everyone has “issues,” if you ignore them, they can become an obstacle, he said. He suggests reflecting on why you say the things you say or feel the way you feel. For example, if you want to run away when you have to be firm with an employee, or, on the other hand, you act harshly when soft touches are called for, you may want to ask yourself about your motives, he said.

– Is your pace sustainable?

“Emotional meltdowns in leadership are common,” he said.

“Leaders begin to neglect their family, abuse their bodies. You are the problem of your pace. Those you’re accountable to are not.”

– How’s your “heart?”

You may love life more these days, wanting to engage people and projects at a deeper level, or you may want to shrink away from people and projects. Your pace may contribute to helping to grow or shrink your love of life. One way to gauge the health of your “heart” is to ask significant people in your life what they see, Smith said.

“If something is short circuiting your heart on the inside, it’s time for self leadership,” he said.


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