Jenni Catron has a new book being released this week, The 4 Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership. I have had an opportunity to read it in advance and highly recommend that you add it to your reading list.
Catron identifies four areas that every leader must develop in order to lead well…heart, soul, mind and strength. She asserts that the secret to standout leadership is found in the Great Commandment, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”
While there are many leaders in our world today, few achieve the level of being an extraordinary leader. Being an extraordinary leader begins with leading ourselves for leadership is only as strong as the leader. Leading ourselves well is the starting point of leadership because it challenges us to define our motives for leading. Leading ourselves well begins by continually growing, and you are the only person who can take responsibility for growing yourself.
As we think about growing ourselves, we often think of growth in one or two areas of our lives. However, Catron says that we must grow in all four areas of our being. Leading from the heart means leading with an understanding of who you are, we must understand what motivates us and influences us before we can lead others from a sincere heart. To grow in our soul, we must consider our character. Character is often defined as who you are when no one is looking; developing character produces qualities that cause others to have confidence in you to follow you as a leader. When we grow in character, we are pursuing, defining and developing the qualities that you want to be true.
Growing our mind is the area that we typically think of when we think about growing. Education continues forever, it is a lifelong process. Leaders need to keep learning all the time. Even as busy individuals, there are some important things that leaders can do to keep learning. The first is to read constantly—expand your knowledge by reading the insights and wisdom of others. Secondly, surround yourself with people who are smarter than you, this allows you to stretch your thinking and will also challenge your opinions.
Strength—how do we grow in strength? We might think this means that we need an exercise program and while we do need to take care of our physical bodies, Catron is talking about discipline. Leadership is evaluated on what we do, not what we intend to do. In today’s world, we often don’t see a lot of people exercising discipline, for this reason, when we are disciplined, we stand out. “Disciplined moments are lonely moments, but they are the moments that build the foundation of influence.” Leaders who are disciplined, see what they want to accomplish (set goals) and then develop the discipline to get it done.
Catron provides an assessment to help each of us determine which areas we are strongest in, and which areas we need to spend some time growing. You can take the assessment FREE by using this link:
I would also encourage you to pick up the book, it is now available at major retailers including Amazon. Happy Reading and Growing!!