“I can lead and I can be led”

There is a little story of mine that wanna share with everyone. Back about 15 years ago when I was a junior PR consultant, I always wanted to get promoted to lead (at least) a small team. A lot of ego there! One morning, my boss walked to my desk, looked me into my eyes and said “Sam, if you want to be a team leader, show me that you can be led!” For an aggressive, twenty-something young man, I didn’t really like that comment. It was a hard feeling…a statement of underperformance. It really hurts! 還有,I also broke up with my then girlfriend. Double hurt! However, I had all the time to do something I’d been longing for: football training.

My best friend and I founded our own football team and he played as the captain. The gentlemen’s agreement was that he makes the call and we go all out to support him. Even at moments we disagreed on tactics, I kept my words to follow his decisions wholeheartedly, processing on my moves, passes and positions. That year, we were underdog but won an open football tournament(油尖旺區冠軍)。

That was a wake-up call to me. I began to apply my football experience to my job. I suddenly clicked…the leadership has to start from within: myselfI then had chosen to be my own leader.

Back to office, I put my ego aside and began to refocus on many small things. I started to know more about my colleagues and my clients. Time went by, we moved as one simple entity: powerful and spiritual. I supported my team head and teammates as much as they supported me. The self-leadership had propelled me to a new career height. 2 years later, I was promoted to head up a small office in Beijing. The leadership journey continued in Beijing à I took charge to lead the business expansion in China and at the same time proactively to be led by the regional management in a higher level.

Those few years were the very beginning of my leadership development journey! It is indeed a life long journey that I am enjoying, every single second.

 

For me, there is no better way to learn and practice leadership other than to start from within: yourself. Self-leadership is truly the most rewarding skill ever learned!

 

Just do it!