The Path to Self-Leadership Made Clear
If you feel it’s easy to lead yourself, you aren’t doing it.
Self-leadership: Pay attention to yourself.
#1. Listen to yourself.
What if the things that come out of your mouth are true expressions of who you are?
Spend a day monitoring your words and tone. What message are you sending?
If your words defined you, who are you?
#2. Consider what it’s like to listen to you.
Negative leaders believe they’re positive. I think I’m a positive person until I listen to the sewage spewing out of my mouth. Complaining is energy sucking poison.
Words are rudders. Life and leadership go in the direction of your speech.
#3. Explore what’s it like to sit across the table from you.
Any expression of authenticity that stands aloof from others is blind arrogance.
You aren’t as pretty as you think and others aren’t as ugly.
- Hire a coach to perform a Narrative 360. This is an interview style 360 assessment, not a paper survey.
- Monitor your wake. Ships disturb the water everywhere they go. How do people feel about themselves after bouncing around on the waves you leave behind?
- Record a meeting you lead.
Others see you better than you see you. See yourself through the eyes of others before you develop yourself.
Self-leadership: Expect more from yourself than you expect from others.
Do everything you expect others to do, only more.
Do you expect others to practice generosity, deliver great results, get along, and not complain? Do it yourself!
Pay attention to frustration. Every frustration you have about others hints at new behaviors for you. Frustration goes wrong when it turns to blame.
Blind leaders appreciate their own strengths and focus on the weaknesses of others. Are you a leader who sees faults and weaknesses everywhere you look? You’re expecting more from others than you expect from yourself.
What is self-leadership?
How might leaders lead themselves?
Great tip on the narrative 360 Dan – we do these for all clients and they are very insightful / powerful when it comes to uncovering the blindspots. They can also be very difficult for the client to digest .. a natural grief cycle will ensue, so not for the weak of heart but I encourage everyone to put on your big boy/big girl pants and go through this exercise – growth begins at humility
Thanks Colin. It seems that pain precedes substantial growth. Incremental growth is relatively painless, but radical growth, that comes from seeing blind spots, for example, hurts like heck. It even hurts when we are committed to our own development and we see the process as a good thing.
Nice article, Dan!
I’m a big proponent of the point of view that action defines who we are. I think what you’re saying about listening to yourself has a lot to do with that. Speaking can influence your world in profound ways, so we have to be deliberate about the messages that we’re sending.
Thanks Get. There’s an interesting dynamic between being who you and and becoming who you are. I’m with you, we become what we habitually do. For example, if we habitually look for ways to express gratitude, we become grateful. (Not perfectly of course.)
The power of choosing our language is one way we take control of who we become.
Additionally, I think feelings follow behavior. Act your way into feeling. Don’t feel your way into action. (A couple limitations to the idea of acting our way into feeling are exhaustion and sickness. In those cases, the only solution is rest and getting healthy.)
Ouch. See yourself the way other people see you. Do more than you expect others to do. Excellent. As the Bible says, do not think more highly or yourself than you ought. Don’t expect more from others than from myself. Thanks, Dan.
Thanks Pete. Love where you took that. We tend to think more highly of ourselves when we hold others to high standards and let ourselves off the hook. It’s humbling to expect more of yourself than you expect from others. You’re right…Ouch.
Perfect timing on this blog.. I need to have a tough conversation with one my staff regarding this topic.
Thanks Sheila. Helping people see themselves is a perilous activity. Especially if they haven’t asked.
One thing that may be useful is exploring their personal goals and explaining how they may be shooting them self in the foot with behaviors that don’t take them where they want to go.
>>Pay attention to frustration. Every frustration you have about others hints at new behaviors for you. Frustration goes wrong when it turns to blame.<<
Really appreciate this, things we find fault with in others often point back to our own inadequacies.. let the frustration drive you to the mirror for some self-examination.
Thanks Ken. “…let frustration drive you to the mirror.” love how you worded that.
“With pain comes growth”, surely life’s lesson abound us.
Thanks Tim. I must confess that sometimes pain hasn’t helped me. I just kept on doing stupid things because I’m stubborn. However, eventually, when it hurts enough, a light comes on, I’m a slow learner.
I thought I was the only one!:-)
So much of this applies to parenting too….uh oh!
Thanks Betty. I love how leadership principles have broad application!
so the person hardest to lead, is the guy I see in the mirror? yes it is – thank you for this words of wisdom this AM
Thanks Scott. You are an example of self-leadership to me. I’m glad to know you.
I read your posts religiously and have my leadership coaching clients do likewise. Thank you!
Today’s post: while a certified in giving 360s and leadership coaching, I have not heard about a Narrative 360. How and where does one get trained in it?
Many thanks, Abigail Wiebenson
Sent from my iPhone
I’ve used this narrative 360 approach a large number of times with leaders who are very committed to hearing the truth in order to grow. There is no specific training per se, but the principles of a sound 360 apply and the art can be in the summary and the debrief. Here’s a great background article http://www.richardkoonce.com/Executive_Coaching.pdf
Thanks for jumping in Bob.
Thanks Dan, Going to definitely take #2 to practice and try it out today
Thanks Roz. I listened to myself over the last couple days. I had to stop thinking of myself as a positive person. It was pretty uncomfortable.
This is really good advice, thank you! There are a lot of leaders who, as you say, think they are positive while their words and especially their body language tells a different story…
A tip that “everyone” can use and something I do whenever possible is to film yourself when doing presentations or meetings. Then you can watch yourself (which is uncomfortable in itself) afterwards and see what everyone else sees.
Thank you for this reminder! Its very easy to fall into negativity and that behavior doeskin move us forward.
When I am pushed to a corner I think of two things – How to get to the other side? and then How the hell did I get there? The preference is always to get to the other side, though. I am in pursuit of what went wrong and how to correct it!
Taking real action on this and sharing it with others. My narrative 360 highlighted my self sabotaging behaviour and those high expectations of self. Self leadership and acceptance is key I can’t be compassionate to others whilst beating myself up.