I had the opportunity to be part of an event recently that got me thinking in multiple dimensions. One of the most interesting of these dimensions was one about self management. There are volumes written about how leaders should be, could be and are. There are books on managing projects and leading teams. I’m not sure how many of these place enough importance on self management.
In a public setting, when meeting with a whole bunch of strangers for the first time and working together as a team, who you are as a person stands out. The difference between the work environment and the new public setting could not be starker because the reputation or title that precedes you at the work place is missing in the public forum. In such situations, the way that one carries oneself becomes a true reflection of who you are as a person and in many ways, is representative of your position in society.
It is truly fascinating to encounter people that are so much in control of their emotions and are conscious of their presence at all times. One such character that springs to mind immediately is Rahul Dravid. He always seemed to be in control of his emotions and his role as an International cricketer while on the cricket pitch. Without ever having met him, you’d imagine that interacting with him would be simple and straightforward. He had a reputation of being one of the fittest men in the squad and that comes as no surprise. Self discipline and managing the self is the key to success as anyone would ascertain readily.
Self management is the awareness that an honest introspection is the cornerstone towards setting an example and being a leader. Only when one is able to frankly look into the mirror and face up to his/ her strengths and weaknesses would he be able to inspire and motivate others. The ability to show yourself to the outside world by openly reflecting your core sense and core values truly differentiates the men from the boys. The confidence to do this comes with the willingness to improve the self relentlessly and consistently. The old cliche, actions speak louder than words is a truth that manifests itself in more ways than one. Every action that one takes is a result of the experiences that have built up over the years and defines the person. Self managed people are in control of their emotions, understand the situation and their reactions to it and take appropriate action around it. One of the seven habits of highly successful people (by Stephen Covey) is “First Understand then try to be Understood”. I would paraphrase it to “First Manage yourself, then try to Manage everything else”!