Lead Yourself

By Bernard Callus on 17 July 2019

At the end of 2018 I changed career. I stopped searching for a cure for cancer to develop a leadership consultancy. I soon realised that my energy level was not high enough to keep up with the rigours of working in a new business. I needed to do something to boost my vitality and facilitate a positive mindset. To transform my situation I chose to start swimming again. In choosing this I realised several positives.

Lead yourself

If someone suggested to me to go back to swimming I would most likely have resisted the idea. Rather, I had to choose this for myself. I knew I needed to be fit for my business. I had to lead myself to make the changes; plan my routine and set some goals, hold myself accountable, be disciplined and stick to the plan. Getting fit doesn’t happen overnight but it will happen when I put in a consistent effort, swimming 40-60 min for 3-4 times per week. What was the lesson here? I knew I needed to make a change. I had to take responsibility for my own fitness and wellbeing. No one else was going to do it. I had to lead myself. That’s being responsible.

Compete with yourself

I am very competitive. Whenever I exercise I want to do better the next time. Having chosen to get back in the pool, I wanted to improve. I competed with myself. I push myself to swim a bit further or a bit faster each time. Each week I swam 2-4 more laps and I pushed to swim 500 metres 5-10 sec faster than the week before. Over the past 6 weeks, I increased my distance from 1km to over 2km three times per week, and I swim 1km almost 2 minutes faster than when I started. A positive, growth mindset is necessary for improvement. Mix up the training. Test what works and produces results. Review, modify and implement. To achieve greater results or accomplish my goals quicker I could also hire a coach or join a squad.

Lead by exampl

My business is committed to developing and inspiring leadership in science and other creative industries. I encourage people to develop themselves and I’m inauthentic if I’m not willing to do what I ask of my clients. I must lead by example. The bonus I’ve discovered in leading myself and holding myself accountable is I have real strength and power to challenge and hold my clients to account.

The question is where are you avoiding responsibility and not taking action? Health, career, fitness, relationships? Are you good at giving advice and yet you won’t heed your own advice? Why do you resist taking action? Is it a fear of failure that stops you? Why not demonstrate your leadership and start leading yourself? You don’t know how it will unfold