Mike Myatt, one of the most respected authorities on leadership, recently wrote an excellent post in Forbes.com: “Self-Made Man—No Such Thing.”
Mike’s fundamental point is presented with force:
Surely that’s right. The ‘self-made man’ myth can be corrosive. Any good it may have in terms of encouraging self-reliance may be overridden by its implicit challenge to humility, gratitude—and reality.
There is another, separate but related reality: Each of us is creating ourselves with decisions we make minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour, day-by-day.
Various shrewd observers through history—from Abraham Lincoln to Albert Camus to Eleanor Roosevelt—have said that everyone makes their own fact after 40.
Whatever talents and gifts and advantages a person is born with are, over time, overtaken by the cumulative results of how he or she chooses to live.
Serve to Lead urges that we live with an awareness of the power we have over our fate. No matter how many demands we face, even in our most challenging moments we have a great capacity to decide how we will interpret and respond.
What is the self that you are creating in the course of your daily living?
–are you learning each day, exercising and strengthening your cognitive capacities?
–are you tending to your physical capacities that underlay all other aspects of your life?
–are you challenging yourself, making use of old muscles (metaphorically as well as physically), and building up underutilized ones?
–do you have a vision of the self you are striving to create?
–are you making progress, measuring progress?
–if not now, when?
James Strock is an author and speaker on 21st century leadership. He serves business, government and not-for-profit organizations. His books include Serve to Lead, Reagan on Leadership, and Theodore Roosevelt on Leadership. He blogs about leadership, citizenship, and sustainability at www.jamesstrock.com .
Daniel R. Murphy
Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.