One of my favorite quotes from Steve Farber's The Radical Leap Re-Energized is "Do what you love in service of people who love what you do". While the book label says it will change the way you lead, I prefer to change the way I live. Leadership is just one part of my life; why limit a good idea to a small portion of who I am?
Since leadership is part of what I do then why not dissolve the separation from one part of me to another? For example, as the head of the house I lead my family in certain directions. As the team lead at work I lead us in getting things done. You cannot fully and passionately engage yourself or others if you cannot fully and passionately engage yourself in what you do. This is probably going to be a struggle for a lot of us because the current economy makes it difficult to transition to a fully engaging job at a salary we would like.
If you are in that position, there are still steps you can take towards success. Naturally, you can read Steve's book. It is written in a parable format and should be available through inter-library loan. You can also realize that where you are now is not where you have to be the rest of your life. Spend some time creating the ideal way to be engaged in your work life and then evaluate that in relationship to what you want to accomplish. What do you need to do, or not do, to meet those ideals? Do you need to change your standard of living to give you the freedom to do what you really love? What skills can you learn now that will prepare you for your chosen path? What character traits do you need to work on to get where you want to go?
In the past several weeks I have written about mental management and how it related to scuba diving. I am sure you have realized that mental management can be applied to any aspect of your life. You do need to actively choose your path, critically evaluate what you want to get done, and do what it takes. Mental Management is not a sugar coated pill to solve your problems without work but a work based structure to get more out of whatever path is right for you.