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Chapter 1. The Journey > We All Lead Ourselves

We All Lead Ourselves

Even in the most highly controlled situations, we influence our behavior in various ways. If you have a boss who gives you very detailed orders and frequently checks your progress (and probably is not too shy to let you know what you're doing wrong), you still possess a great deal of discretion. The method or order in which you complete tasks, for example, is left to you. What you think about while you work is also up to you. If you choose to set a higher or lower personal goal for yourself than what your boss expects, that too is up to you. You can feel good about your progress or be tough on yourself for even the smallest of mistakes if you choose.

The point is that you are your own leader much of the time. Even if you are faced with very influential external leaders, they are not likely to be staring over your back every minute. In their absence, who is in charge? You, of course. Even if they are present, they cannot look into your mind. In fact, we are our own ultimate leaders. We are capable of negating anything we hear externally and substituting our own internal communication. (Example: From boss: “You're loafing, and what little work you are doing is poor quality.” To self: “Everyone around here knows I'm the best worker in our department—obviously, the boss is being an unreasonable S.O.B. today.”)


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