12.8. Trust in yourself (self-reliance)

"To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man."

Shakespeare, Hamlet

The last point about the relationship between leadership and trust is for you to learn to trust in yourself. This is a deep philosophical subject well beyond the scope of this book. However, I have enough trust in both of us that we can cover some important ground in this short section.

If you look at high school and college curriculums in the United States, there is one class that you will not find: how to figure out who you are. This is very strange. For a nation that places primary importance on individuality and freedom, the U.S. doesn't do very much to teach its citizens about self-discovery, much less self-reliance. Self-discovery is the process of learning about who you are as an individual, independent from your friends, family, employer, or nation. Self-reliance is the ability to apply your individuality to the world, based on a framework of emotional, physical, and financial support for yourself. It doesn't mean you have to live naked in the woods, living off the land. But it does mean that you can look inside yourself and find strength to make choices you believe in, even if others do not agree with those choices.

"Believe nothing, no matter where you read it or who has said it, not even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."


Leadership, in the ...

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