To Be a Good Leader for Others, Lead Yourself First

New Book Giveaway!!

20 free copies of Self Leadership and The One Minute Manager.

Leave a comment on this guest post by Susan Fowler to become eligible to win one of TWENTY complimentary copies of Self Leadership and The One Minute Manager. (Deadline: 9/30/2017)

*Eligibility limited to the Continental U.S.


What if you took three simple steps at the beginning of each work day that could dramatically decrease your stress and increase your energy by the end of your day? Try these three proactive behaviors that researchers have proven can do just that.


Ask yourself “What feedback could help me learn something today?”

Proactively ask for the feedback.

People don’t resist feedback, they resist receiving feedback not requested.

After heading a meeting, for example, ask your boss for feedback. Explain what you intended to accomplish and ask what she thought worked and didn’t work. Ask what she might suggest you do better next time. Asking for feedback prepares your brain to be more open, hear the feedback, and act on it. Feedback requested is far more effective than feedback imposed.

When facing a problem, try a new proactive process to solve it.

Rather than posing a solution that will probably get shot down, try this proven technique. Generate at least three alternatives with pros and cons for each, then choose one to recommend as a path forward. Communicate all your alternatives along with your recommendation to stakeholders. Research shows you’ll either get agreement on your solution or experience a learning moment. Either way, problem solved and stress reduced.

Proactively voice an opinion.

Unexpressed ideas sap your energy.

By voicing your concern, complaint, or fear in a positive way, along with actions you plan to take to deal with your concerns or fears, you stimulate positive energy for yourself and others.

Being a proactive self leader early in your day measurably decreases your experience of stress and increases energy by the end of your day. To effectively lead others, begin with your own self leadership skills—then, imagine the energy you’d unleash by developing your staff into self leaders, too.

What does the practice of self-leadership look like to you?

About Susan Fowler

Susan Fowler is the co-author of the newly revised Self Leadership and The One Minute Manager with Ken Blanchard and Laurence Hawkins, and lead developer of The Ken Blanchard Companies’ Self Leadership product line. She is also the author of the bestseller Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work… and What Does. Fowler is a senior consulting partner at The Ken Blanchard Cos. and a professor in the Master of Science in Executive Leadership Program at the University of San Diego.