Leadership: Find Yourself, Claim Yourself, Be Yourself

To be a leader, you must KNOW YOURSELF. From the core of your spirit on outward. In becoming a leader or in taking command, your first three assignments are as follows:

1) Find Yourself – This requires deep introspection, and is as frightening for most of us, as it is physically and psychically draining;

2) Claim Yourself – Own your identity, your beliefs, your real feelings…merge with them and stop fighting them. See, hear taste, touch, smell and feel things through your own unfiltered, unadulterated senses;

3) Be Yourself – If you are not yourself, you are either somebody else (a lie), or nobody at all (a void in search of something to fill it — as an empty vessel).

The Bottom Line: You must be fully self-aware and self-secure if you are to command yourself. And you must achieve true command of yourself or you cannot ever command others. This is not just about discipline — no, this is about integrity of purpose and presentation.

Leadership: Find Yourself, Claim Yourself and Be Yourself.  I learned about this from a children’s picture book. -DC

The Big Orange Splot is a children’s picture book by Daniel Manus Pinkwater. It was published in 1977 by Scholastic Inc, New York. The age range is ages 4–8, and all 32 pages have a full color picture, which helps the child visualize when reading.

Despite this, the book uses many large words, and cliche’d phrases referring to the story’s protagonist, Mr. Plumbean, making the book almost targeted at adults as well, and helping the children’s vocabulary.


The main character, Mr. Plumbean, lives on a “neat street” where all the houses look the same. A seagull flies over his house and drops a can of bright orange paint on his roof, but instead of repainting his house to look like all the others on the street, Mr. Plumbean paints it to look like all his dreams. His neighbors send people to talk him into repainting his house to look like theirs, but everyone he talks to ends up painting their houses like their dreams also. In the end, all the neighbors say:

“Our street is us and we are it. Our street is where we like to be, and it looks like all our dreams.”

The drawings were made with markers, and if one looks closely one can see the marker lines.

When my ex-wife read this story to my daughter (she’s quite grown-up, and recently became engaged) at bedtime, I had to leave the room and weep.

The message was so profound and so personal. It opening a portal to a part of myself  that I had suppressed for many, many years. Once acknowledged and attended to, that part would never let me forget about it again. The genie was forever out of the bottle.

From the moment we are old enough to understand language, we are taught to lie to ourselves. We are taught to draw “within the lines.” We are stunted with some sadistic version of realism — and it is always “for our own good, child.”

That last part is a lie. We are confined for the comfort of others, as they were confined for the comfort of those who parented them. And so the cycle repeats itself. You have to break it, and to break free of it in order to become the great individualist and leader that was and remains your very birthright. It’s been stolen from you; you must sneak out of your cubicle, cell or row house and reclaim it. And now, as an adult you must become an uncorruptible sentinel of your true identity.

Stop flagellating yourself for being who you really are. Get out of your crypt, shake the scales from your eyes, and put your fingerprint on the face of the world, Leader.

Click on this link (below) to enjoy a wonderful brief video [please turn up your volume and listen very carefully]:



Douglas E Castle:  Negotiator, Leader, Human Being and Chairman of TNNWC Group, LLC

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