Five Steps to Personal Leadership
by Peter Urs Bender

(NC)-The most powerful leaders are those who first lead themselves. Not by a set of texts or what they learned in business school; those help. But by having vision, passion and the courage to take action. These qualities which reside inside each of us. Here are some ways to do that.

Know Yourself
   Know what is really important to you. Learn your strengths and weaknesses, and where you need the help or skills of others.
Find your vision and passion
   Imagine clearly what you want in life--for you, your family, business, society. Think about possibilities, not just what exists today. Whatever you do, do it with enthusiasm and joy. (If you don't feel this, try a different way or do something new.)

Take Risks
   Take steps toward what you want. Keep commitments to yourself and others. Risk not being perfect all the time. Be vulnerable, forthright, human. Trust your gut or intuition. Make decisions and take action.

Communicate Effetively
   Express your ideas and feelings; be willing to be seen and heard. Learn presentation skills and develop confidence. Learn writing skills. Communicate so your audience will understand and relate to what you say. Practise every chance you get.

Check your progress and results
   Look at what is working and what is not in your life. (How do you feel? That is a good sign of whether or not it is working.) Look at your attitudes and behaviours, and ask yourself, "What is contributing to my progress? What is holding me back?" Make some new choices--to help yourself feel fulfilled, make progress and create the results you'd like in your life.

Peter Urs Bender is author of the bestselling books, Leadership From Within and Secrets of Power Presentations. For more tips, see

-News Canada