“One can have no smaller or greater mastery than mastery of oneself” – Leonardo da Vinci
How can you and I possibly use this leadership quote?
Leonardo was certainly a genius. And how does a genius achieve so much? Are there geniuses who achieved little? Of course there are! There is a strong hint at Leonardo’s secret in the quotation above.
A great new idea
You have this great new idea or that great new project and it will move you significantly towards your goals which are in line with your main purpose in life. After being highly self-motivated in the beginning, you have to find a way to stay motivated through the difficult times but always occur in any project. The danger will be in starting with enthusiasm and then allowing priorities to drift, which can mean that deadlines will be missed, with all the attendant difficulties of broken promises to others – or even to yourself.
Self-discipline and self-management are the essence of hard work. Many quotes about leadership can tell you that, and with good reason. You will find many of the great leaders of history giving you that advice couched in many different words and ways. I always find it amazing to reflect that these things have changed little over the centuries. When I discuss that famous phrase “time management” during my mentoring of business leaders, it very quickly becomes clear that there is, in reality, no such thing as time management. We quickly conclude that “self-management” is a better definition.
Graceful swan, paddling furiously?
Take a look at the leaders in their field, the really successful entrepreneurs or sport players for example. Many people will see the image of a graceful swan, gliding along on the water. What the observer will not know is the amount of furious paddling going on under the surface.
Quotes about Leadership: “What a bit of luck!”
You will probably have heard one of the many versions of the famous answer given by a world champion sports player to a call from the crowd at a great sporting occasion. The player accomplishes an astonishing sporting feat before many thousands of pairs of eyes: “What a bit of luck!” calls a spectator. The world famous player turns and replies “You know what? The more I practise, the luckier I get”. Gary Player, the great golfer, is often quoted as saying it and then again, so it Tiger Woods.
The reason this is attributed to so many of the greats is almost certainly because so many of them have actually said it! We have to acknowledge that we simply don’t become that great at anything unless we work hard at it, tirelessly over a significant time period.
Self-management to self-mastery
There are plenty of ways of keeping yourself motivated. I discuss many of these in my self-management workshops. One of the ways is to use inspiring stories and quotations! Use the quotation above to imagine that Leonardo da Vinci is speaking to you personally and helping you to be inspired to continue with your project. Find a hero who is relevant to your specific project and use them to inspire you.
Find a relevant story and read it. Google your goal and read success stories. You will soon find that you can relate to some of the challenges and the ways that successful people have surmounted them.
When you have found your own special way, you will be moving in the direction of the self-mastery to which Leonardo referred.
You will find yourself building the habit of self-mastery which will stand you in good stead in your career and your life.
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Books on leadership for further reading:
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