How To Map Who You are? Guide to Personal Leadership Part 1

How To Map Who You are? Guide to Personal Leadership-Part 1. Imabe by Maria Fonseca

Life is a process of understanding yourself through a permanent quest of opening up, of mapping yourself, which enables you to become more aware of who you are. You can then be the personal leader of yourself. However, as we live in a new world where we process more data than ever in history and where our digital track leaves a permanent digital footprint, to record and map ourselves becomes increasingly challenging.

Social media shaping your trend

We live in a world of complex technology, shaped by new trends that are transforming human beings, economies, businesses, and life, at a fast accelerated pace. One of the major trends that has affected our world of today, is social media. Social Media and its implicit connectedness is changing irreversibly our human ways of doing things. To have a strong process of  personal leadership that looks at our performance, self development, business management and all 360 degrees ways of thinking and acting can help us navigate this admirable world of big data, and social innovation. It is therefore important to have an indepth look on  how to map who we are.

“One way or another, we all have to find what best fosters the flowering of our humanity in this contemporary life, and dedicate ourselves to that.”
Joseph Campbell

Our old human quest of the journey of the hero, quoting Joseph Campbell is more than ever shifting. We are now all personal startups and unique digital heros, whether we like it or not. We are therefore all  increasingly having to face the eternal human quest of “know thyself” which is less about technology and more about wisdom, anthropology, social change, sociology, and personal mapping ethnography.

A good metaphor of this process is the one of a flower blooming, from a folded initial position, the seed filled with potential, to the tinny button, that grows into a full beautiful flower. But if we think of humans, with complex mind sets, with critical reasoning, emotions, and embedded in a long cultural soup of traditions and ways to do things, to bloom, gets more complicated.

The Many Jobs of Personal Brand by Beehooved

Napoleon Hill once said that:

“It takes half your life before you discover life is a do-it-yourself project.”

I would add to the wise realisation of Napoleon Hill that  it took humans various generations to become aware how we are on a individual scale, “self-made” sentient  D.I.Ys. Now we all know. The message of this extremely important realization, is that we can be the “leaders” of ourselves.

You can be leading a group of people

Leadership is a bold action of leading. You can be leading a group of people, an organization, but above anything it means to lead your inner self, and how to shape your character. There are different styles of leadership, so one needs to find the one that is most appropriate for himself, the one that better fits his or her character.
Leadership is synonyms with words such as guidance, direction, control, management, superintendence, supervision. These keywords form a map of functions and directions and can be used to map who you are.
The best way to improve your capabilities of personal leadership is first of all to map who we are. Every single one of us is born with a particular set of positive and negative characteristics. And its both our positive and negative qualities that make us whole. What are your particular set of characteristics?  And what is it that you want to achieve? You can then trace the specific series of actions or steps that you need to take in order to achieve  whatever it is that you have in mind. Then it is important to be able to go for it with an innovative -to do attitude.
Online Personal Image Infographic Microsoft

Map-Making And Personal Leadership

To think about maps can help us define a good strategy of personal leadership. Maps show us the perception and borders of countries, continents, seas and oceans. Moreover there are maps that illustrate our inner emotions and the weight of our imagination. You can therefore somehow map your inner processes, your personal version of “heaven and hell” and all in between: happiness, despair, sadness, contentment.

There are maps of moods, maps of matrimonies,  and maps of mythological places, spanning from Gulliver’s Island to Gilligan’s Island. There are speculative maps, fantazising about the world before it was known, and maps to secret places known only to the mapmaker. Artists’ maps show another kind of uncharted realm: the imagination. What all these maps have in common is their creators’ willingness to venture beyond the boundaries of geography or convention.

Katharine Harmon reflects about maps and the self’s personal geographies,  in her book: “You Are Here: Personal Geographies and Other Maps of the Imagination Paperback”. Maps can therefore help us not only with our processes of personal leadership, but also as creative strategies to visualize our mind, from our emotions and imagination, to our inner fears and dreams.

Maps can be an excellent tool for achieving success and move forward. As Paulo Coelho wrote, somehow we are all:

“human beings in search of their own identity. We are the revolution taking place. We are responsible for the world in every sense – political, social, moral. (…) And we don’t need permission to act. We are much more powerful than we think we are. Let’s use this power, use the strength that everyone has when he/she is following his/her real Bliss, Personal Legend, you name it.”

Beyond your comfort zone

Sometimes we are not able or willing to dedicate our strength to use that profound power residing in each of us, the one Paulo Coelho speaks about. We might be prone to live our life without looking at who we really are and prefer to move on, driven by the forces outside, the vehicles surrounding us,  mostly with engines of fear and living in spaces of comfort zones.

The challenge is to find the tools that enable us to be brave, and move forward in life in a permanent process of finding ourselves. Mapmaking can help us with that process. Mapmaking is a great way to reach personal leadership. It fulfils one of human´s most ancient and deep-seated inner desires: the notion that you move, you conduct yourself from a centred position, your core self, your clear identity. That is what personal leadership is all about: to conduct yourself.

Mapping yourself will lead you into better understanding the world around you and your place in it. A world where personal leadership, mapping who we are is enabled in a process of technology, big data and social media.

“Social media is the democratization of information, transforming people from content readers into publishers. It is the shift from a broadcast mechanism, one-to-many, to a many-to-many model, rooted in conversations between authors, people, and peers.” (…)
“Social media is less about technology and more about anthropology, sociology, and ethnography.” Brian Solis


The World of Data Infographic by IBM

How To Map Who You are? Guide to Personal Leadership ( Part 2)