The first test or phase of leadership lies in your
ability to bring out the best in yourself, your commitment to the full
development of yourself, and thus benefit to all of society. This is what I
worked toward with students—pushing their limits: motivating and inspiring
them to put forth their greatest efforts and greatest performances. Once a
person has experience in doing this, pushing his or her limits in
successfully reaching a desired goal or outcome, he reaches and holds a
greater perspective on what it takes to overcome obstacles in order to reach
a certain level of success. He or she has a greater level of confidence. And
he or she can share this greater perspective with others—minimally, your
commitment to serving others.
The key factor in motivating and inspiring ourselves to push self-imposed
limits, that spirit, centers on discovering your passion—something positive
that we are determined about, that drives us, whether it be writing, sports,
or music for instance. But, once we are able to uncover this passion, or
vision, we need within our spirit a whole lot of courage. Winston Churchill
said, “Courage is the first virtue because it underlies all others.”
That statement couldn’t be more accurate.
We must have courage to first set out to pursue our
passions, our dreams—our vision. And lastly, as part of that spirit, we must
be self-disciplined to do what’s right along the way towards pursuing our
dreams—character and integrity. We must have a positive, clean and healthy
spirit, if we are going to truly be the best we can be, while pushing our
limits; thus developing leadership skills from within.
Secondly, we will need a great deal of effort and persistence in conjunction
with that spirit if we are to realize our true full leadership potential.
Spirit is the key, but tremendous effort must be put forth in order to carry
out your plan to the end. To the extent that one acts with a great amount of
spirit and effort, as a result, he or she demonstrates tremendous
And Therefore Leadership
Here is a simple method or formula for marking your achievement and
promoting the development of innate leadership ability. One must first
identify within his or her spirit a vision, and then have courage to pursue
it. Secondly, one must act with integrity and demonstrate good character as
part of demonstrating a good, positive spirit. And finally, he or she must
“stay the course” until the end in realizing his or her dreams by putting
forth effort along the road.
SELF-DIRECTED LEADERSHIP MODEL
i. General Leadership: Bringing out the
best in others towards some positive net difference or good to society.
ii. In achieving point one, we must
continuously work to bring about the best in ourselves, first and foremost.
iii. And so a very simple formula for
success is presented and recommended here—
Spirit, Effort, and therefore
Self-Directed Leadership: Your
commitment to the full development of him or herself, pushing your
self-imposed limitations, and thus benefit to all of society.
a healthy and clean inner spirit or self.
1. Courage. Courage is at the
cornerstone of spirit. Winston Churchill said, “Courage is the first
virtue because it underlies all others.” One must possess great
courage to pursue his or her dreams irrespective of what others may say.
One must possess courage to stay the course of greatness. This is the
first aspect of spirit detailed here, because it does underlie the
2. Confidence. One must develop a
strong, unshakeable inner belief in yourself, holding the view that when
ability and effort are applied there is nothing that cannot be overcome
and nothing that cannot be achieved with belief.
3. Fluidity. One must develop and
maintain a fluid mental state, freely thinking, and creating and
sustaining new dreams and new visions to pursue once others have been
fulfilled in benefiting all of society.
1. Character. Your commitment and
responsibility to demonstrate self-directed leadership; the maximization
of your true potential, taking God given talents and making the most of
these to the best of your ability.
2. Integrity. The degree to which one
keeps his or her word when given at all times, combined with a
consistent display of your goodness to do what is right, upholding
well-grounded moral principles across social settings and environments,
regardless of positive or negative outcomes that may affect you and/or
whether or not your actions are or will be brought to the attention of
others; your consistency in demonstrating the attributes of
dependability, honesty, and loyalty to the “Golden Rule.”
b. Effort—one must
possess a great deal of focused thought and sustained behaviors to realize
his or her true full potential.
1. Format. One must develop a plan,
detailing goals and the means for attaining his or her visions or dream.
2. Time Management. One must master the
minutes of the days and weeks that pass us by, accounting for the time
it will take to reach each step within his or her plan for attaining
what is most important.
3. Condition. One must develop and
adhere to a physical fitness, workout regimen—healthy mind, healthy
4. Excellence in the Written Word. One
must set aside time and incorporate as a goal the ability to write well.
With practice, one would naturally write more clearly than one speaks.
The expression and recording of your ideas, pursuits, dreams, plans must
ultimately be written. All transactions must be written.
5. Persistence in Practice. One must
develop the tenacity to relentlessly practice the skills and areas
needed to ensure a successful completion of any plan.
1. Will. One must be convincing of the
self, knowing that all will be accomplished with the will to do so.
2. Expectations. One must always
increase expectations or raise the bar, thus possessing a strong desire
for new knowledge and new information.
3. Discipline. One must have the mental
stamina to stay on task in putting in the time necessary to “practice”
effectively while fulfilling all obligations and responsibilities.
4. Toughness. One must develop inner
strength to weather any storm, overcome any form of adversity or waves
of adverse situations.
5. Faith in Fate. One believes, deep
within him or herself, a feeling of special, divine selection for the
sole purpose of carrying out a particular purpose or objective to
benefit others and society.
6. Patience. “Quietly” hold to these
beliefs with consistency, knowing that your finest days are yet unknown,
but soon to come, one day.
Lancer began his formal education at the University
of Michigan, in Ann Arbor, where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology.
He continued his education at the University of Southern California, where
he earned both a Master’s Degree in Social Work and a Doctoral Degree in
Urban Leadership from the School of Education. He was recognized as a
Thurgood Marshall Award Recipient. Contact Lancer at