In geometry, an arc is defined as any unbroken part of the circumference of a circle or other curved line.
Visually, you can view an arc like a dome, in that it can cover or protect something important or valuable.
When applied to the concept of personal leadership, the arc provides you with the confidence of knowing that who you fundamentally are and what you truly believe in is protected from the pulls and tugs of “leading” every day. You see, there is a lot that’s exposed for leaders at all stages and, in some cases, there is a need for this type of coverage or protection.
You are leading from within an organization that has many layers, rules, regulations and requirements. These drivers can require you to react and respond in a way that is contrary to your intentions. As a result, leaders can lose who they are, given all of your responsibilities and visibility.
How then can you use the arc of personal leadership to protect your own self-satisfaction, aspirations and who you fundamentally are?
Here are some steps you can take, no matter what stage of leadership you’re in or aspire to:
Step #1 – Begin journaling
Sounds like a lot of work to start, right? However, many successful leaders have kept journals to keep them on track and remind them of their personal goals and objectives.
Use the journal to identify what personal leadership means to you. Is it to see others grow under your support and direction? Is it to make a greater impact on the organization through other people? Or is it simply to feel good about what you get to do each day?
Be honest and confident that these words will serve you when you need to be reminded why you do what you do.
Step #2 – Create your own personal leadership goals
Using your journal, write down your personal leadership goals. Perhaps you want to learn about emotional intelligence and how you can recognize your emotions and those you lead. Or take self-awareness training and share that with your team so that it builds cohesion and teamwork.
Step #3 – Determine your legacy
Journaling truly has value! Write down your thoughts about your personal leadership style and the impact you intend to make. What is it that you want to be known for as a leader? Is it that you were fair, compassionate, followed, appreciated or more?
And how will you use the arc of leadership to protect the legacy you want to leave? Checking in and reading your journal entries will preserve your arc of leadership.
Leaders can cross business units, agencies, boundaries and barriers easily because they understand that the opportunity is bigger than themselves. This noble effort is not without its challenges, but here is where a leader gets their grit and professional satisfaction.
That professional satisfaction can be where leaders lose their ability to balance who they are and who they are “being” as a leader. Striking that balance is as much a defining leadership trait as achieving quarterly and annual goals.
Therein lies the power of your arc of personal leadership. The arc and the steps defined above are where your protection and your balance lie. The arc of leadership is a place to celebrate what’s important and valuable for you while leading your team toward the extraordinary results only you can achieve.
There is beauty in protecting that which is important and valuable to one’s identity, even in a collaborative environment. It serves your inner need for honoring your place in the world. And we truly relish that kind of leader.
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Christine “Chris” Makell has worked for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for over four years, having held positions of increasing challenges and responsibility in that short time. She is currently a Program Analyst in the Knowledge Management & Transfer office. She joins federal service after a 28-year career in the private sector and six years as the owner of Chris Makell Consulting/Coaching working with individuals and sales teams to achieve greater success.