By John Gronski
Iron-Sharpened Leadership focuses on leadership attributes such as demonstrating integrity, caring for others, the ability to provide others a vision and purpose, having the courage to decide, being an effective communicator, and demonstrating resilience. It is about being a leader who puts the welfare of those you lead ahead of your own interests.
An Iron-Sharpened Leader is a humble person who does not demonstrate ambition for themselves, but instead ambition for the organization that they lead.
Iron-Sharpened Leaders focus on continuous improvement and look to improve their level of fitness in terms of physical fitness as well as mental, emotional, and spiritual fitness. As we negotiate the path of self-improvement we should reflect on what our iron-sharpened edge is.
A friend of mine has started a program he calls Iron-Sharpened Fitness. He has developed a series of “workouts-of-the day” focused on bible verses. It is his way of engaging in continuous self-improvement by inspiring others to improve too.
I have another friend who has the challenge of fighting through a disease that has taken away the use of his legs. He has channeled the energy he needs to confront this test of his resiliency by helping young children who also struggle with physical disabilities such as spinal cord injuries or diseases and Down Syndrome.
Everyone A Leader
Every one of us is a leader to some degree. All of us lead an organization, a team at work, a volunteer group, a family unit, or at least ourselves. As leaders, we all face opportunities and challenges. In order to continuously move forward, we must identify our iron-sharpened edge.
We must identify our signature leadership attribute. It will probably be centered around physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual fitness or a combination of those things, but it could go beyond that. It could be our ability to communicate, to instill purpose, to stay grounded along a spiritual path, or in the way we cultivate relationships and positively interact with people.
Leading By Example Is Real
Leading by example is a real thing. When our actions are focused on doing the right thing or helping others, that example provides a powerful motivating force, Our deeds speak louder than our words and we must be conscious of what actions we take and what example we set. Our followers are always watching. The good things you do and the iron-sharpened edge you choose to live by can have an impact for generations to come.
Focus On Others
The focus of your iron-sharpened edge should be to help others in some way. Determine your iron-sharpened edge and put your energy into it. The interesting thing is that the more energy you place into helping others provides more energy for you to help yourself improve and become a better person.