The question is as relevant today as it ever was. It is usually asked when someone moves beyond what others perceive to be their proper place. It can be followed by attempts by others to put you in your proper place, according to their view of you. Well, I have news for you: no one worth their salt has ever stayed in the place that others put them in. In fact, one of the most compelling traits of leaders is their ability to buck the system, stand outside of it and call others to a new course of action. Most people suffer from what I call “pack identity.” This simply means that folks are comfortable with their identity as long as others support and affirm it. The problem is this, once a person starts to deviate from the standards of others, they are often shamed or threatened until they fall back into their place in the pack.
The biggest barrier one has to overcome before they become a leader is the perception barrier. That is the belief that others will not follow you because – (fill in the blanks ____________). The reasons prove self-fulfilling because we are bombarded daily with memories of our past and the daunting challenges we currently face. The echoes of our past failures nest in our minds and hatch new doubts and worries, feeding the mitosis of uncertainty and insecurity until they become spiritual cancers. Leaders must resist the temptation to indulge in both self delusion and timidity.
If you are a true leader this message will reinforce what you are already know. If you are an up and comer, it will be a nudge in the right direction. I have no interest in working with people who call themselves leaders and are merely self aggrandizing, narcissists who crave power over others. Real leadership is service to others and manifests itself by creating great teams, and a legacy for others to follow and imitate. Great leadership is voice coaching—teaching others to find their voice, not parrot yours. That said; let’s return to the title of this blog, “Who do you think you are?” The question is as relevant today as it ever was, and only you can answer it.
Hakim Hazim is the founder of Relevant Now Consultancy and L.E.A.D.E.R.S.H.I.P. 1ST Intervention Specialist. Hakim has been immersed in research for at risk populations since 1993. His successful results confirmed first-hand that: “The price of incarceration in terms of expense for housing offenders is too much for society to consistently pay, and the future grows darker. Bluntly put, we can’t sustain the cost in lives or resources. It is my fervent belief that a productive tax-paying citizen is a far better option. Given the right tools, young people can change and lead positive lives.” As a certified Crisis Prevention Institute Senior Trainer and Behavior Intervention Specialist he specializes in the following various areas of security: counterterrorism, radical religious sects, gangs, juvenile delinquency and law enforcement approaches for mentally ill or challenged individuals. Hakim is also the creator of the 4Cs of Leadership trainings and MC2U: “Mentoring Challenge to You” initiative.