4 Ways to Lead Yourself into a New Year

Novices think leadership begins with others.

Leadership is about others but it begins with you.

Ask novice-leaders what needs to be done and their sentences begin with “they”.

Novice-leaders complain about others rather than owning their responsibility.

Complaints are self-indictments.


The danger of authority is the tendency to expect more from others than you expect from yourself.

  1. Become a skillful leader if you hope to lead remarkable teams. You are responsible for the lousy meetings you run, for example.
  2. Become an exceptional spouse if you hope to experience a spectacular marriage.
  3. Become a magnificent mom or dad if you hope to enjoy family life.

Lack of guaranteed outcomes is no excuse for not bringing your best.


Self-leadership is expecting more from yourself than you expect from others.

Focus on what you should do, more than what others should do.

  1. Exemplify the attitudes and values you expect from others.
  2. Take 100% responsibility for yourself and your team. 

Self-leadership is clear to leaders who take responsibility and confusing to blamers. If things aren’t going as you hoped, look at yourself. The answer begins with you, not others.

Humility rules when leaders practice self-leadership.

4 ways to lead yourself into a new year:

#1. Do you want to hold others accountable? Become the most accountable person on your team.

#2. Do you want to tell others what to do? Invite someone to tell you what to do. (Not a delinquent employee, of course.)

#3. Do you want to evaluate others? Yield yourself to rigorous evaluation. I didn’t say, “Evaluate yourself.”

#4. Do you need to be hard on others? Ask others to be hard on you.

Toward self-leadership:

Stop worrying about who you aren’t, what you don’t have, and things you can’t do. Focus on who you are, what you have, and things you can do.

What is self-leadership?

How might leaders step toward self-leadership?