In order to engage in collaborative leadership, individuals need to expand their personal capacity. By understanding who you are, you will be able to build authentic relationships. In individual leadership, students will have the opportunity to: 1) identify their values and principles; 2) understand their personal style; 3) identify and use their talents, skills, and specialized knowledge; and 4) identify and pursue their aspirations and dreams. Individual leadership allows you to: 1) deepen self-awareness; 2) build self-confidence; 3) establish interpersonal efficacy; 4) apply new skills; and 5) expand motivation.
In individual leadership, the development of self-awareness, individual congruence, and commitment are critical components in learning to see one’s self as a leader.
Development of Self-Awareness: In order to develop self-awareness, one must understand who they are. For instance, what makes you, you? You need to know your values and beliefs. You need to know your biases, your personal preferences, and what you want to achieve in life. Three ways in which you can become more self-aware include: 1) gaining feedback by talking with friends, family, and mentors; 2) personally reflecting through journal writing; or 3) personally reflecting through quietly thinking to one’s self.
Individual Congruence: Individual congruence means living in accordance to the beliefs and values that govern your life. Simply, individual congruence means living by your values and beliefs – you walk the talk. For instance, if you say you are a vegetarian and eat steak once a month, you are not displaying congruence. Similarly, if you say you support Husker football and only support the team when they are winning, you are not showing congruence.
Commitment: Commitment is a key fundamental of leadership involving time, dedication, passion, desire, and energy. In order to show full commitment, you must understand the things that make you most passionate. When you link your passions with individual self-awareness and congruence, you will able to display a greater sense of commitment and personal responsibility. For example, think of the organizations in which you are currently involved. Do you find yourself displaying more commitment and energy to the organizations and leadership positions that most align with your passions, motivations, and desires? Do you find less passion for organizations in which you aren’t as involved or committed? Overall, commitment is not about wanting or having to do something, but rather doing something because you are passionate about impacting the situation.
The three aspects of individual leadership go hand-in-hand. Through being self-aware, displaying individual congruence, and showing commitment, you are not only learning to see yourself as a leader, you are also creating the opportunity to propel yourself into group leadership.