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  • Writer's pictureRoger Grant


Updated: Jun 17, 2020

What’s the biggest challenge to scaling people to the

next level?

Just one! Leading yourself.

Typically, when organisation leaders think about scaling people to the next level, they think bombastic skills training and Wizbang tech. Over lunch, someone said to me, “I’ve got that covered, we recently implemented (HR software).”

I think differently.

I think the biggest challenge to scaling people is just one. Leading yourself. To be a better organisation leader, to lead people to the next level, you need to be a better personal leader. Learning to lead yourself doesn’t stop once you become the boss. In fact, the higher you climb, the more important personal leadership becomes.

To be a better organisation leader, you need to be a better personal leader.

Be a lifelong student of leadership. Fall back in love with leading.

Every day the business is changing, and so many things can change - products, customers, market conditions, business size, capital structure. Too often, CEOs go in with a “business as usual” mindset, investing millions of dollars to improve their highly complex existing processes, and get mad with everyone when things don’t go back to normal fast enough. The world is moving on and they are still hanging on to the past. It’s like taking a giant leap into the past, burning truckloads of cash and people’s souls, including their own.

"I done something new for this fight. I wrestled with an alligator. I tussled with a whale. I handcuffed lightning, I thrown thunder in jail. Only last week I murdered a rock, injured a stone, hospitalised a brick. I’m so mean I make medicine sick.”
- Muhammad Ali

Personal Leadership revamp

How much thought do you give to your personal leadership?

CEOs live every day in the mystery of not knowing. As the area of our knowledge grows, so too does the perimeter of our ignorance.

Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance
- Confucius

When every person and every “issue” demands a piece of your attention, all too often, personal leadership gets pushed aside. CEOs say “We need to change”, but what your actions really say: “You need to change. I don’t.”

Personal leadership is about power over your mind, and not over others.

Personal leadership is about real control - attentive listening, mindful seeing, careful testing. Like a scientist exploring the truth. And not the illusion of control - using carrots and sticks to bend people to your version of reality.

Personal leadership is about taking deliberate action from a deeper sense of knowing, and not reacting to situations out of habit or to please others.

Personal leadership is a lifelong practice.

That’s why it feels like riding on the edge of greatness. You need that deeper sense of knowing what really matters to you, that you can handle the stress and not go this alone.

You start to have a Cheshire cat grin that welcomes wholeheartedly whatever comes at you. Discover deep data about yourself - that you are much tougher than you thought you were.

Pack your bags. There’s a much bigger game to be won here.

If you like reading more about leadership and change, join our newsletter, stay inspired here.


PERSONNA is a leadership development company focused on the people side of transformation. We hold a simple belief that everyone is an extraordinary and powerful force for positive change. When you make work personal, naturally you become a better leader.

We’re here to help people become better leaders, build highly-effective teams, and create a culture of trust & collaboration in their organisations. We provide leadership branding, leadership coaching and group experiences. If you are curious to learn more drop us an email to

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