The Secrets to Self-Leadership
I thought self-leadership was gobbledygook when I first heard the term.
You live in frustration when leadership begins with others. You think you need new people; your team is lousy, but leadership begins with you. Lead yourself if you hope to lead others.
The problem in organizations is too many people have authority over others, but they can’t lead themselves.
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.
- Enjoy your work if you hope others will enjoy their work. Unhappy leaders have unhappy teams.
- Begin and end meetings on time if you expect promptness from others. (We know how important you are, but that is no excuse to make exceptions for yourself.)
- Do what you say you’re going to do if you require follow-through from others. (Don’t make excuses for dropping the ball.)
Become a leader of one before you seek to lead many. The person who believes leadership begins with others ends up feeling superior. The problem isn’t them. It’s you.
Self-leadership is expecting more from yourself than you expect from others. The result of self-leadership is humility. When leadership begins with others you become dissatisfied, disgruntled, and disappointed.
Self-knowledge is the beginning of leading yourself.
Reflect on your performance more than you examine the performance of others. (This isn’t about letting your inner critic run wild.)
- What will you do differently next time?
- When did your energy go up? Down?
- How are people responding to your words?
- Who talks more? You or others?
You cannot master yourself unless you know yourself.
The secrets to self-leadership are self-reflection that leads to self-knowledge.
How might leaders lead themselves first?
Leadership Identity – Self-Perception Determines How You Lead
The First Step Toward Self-Knowledge is Realizing You Don’t Have It
What Is Self-Leadership? Models, Theory and Examples
Dan, this one hit hard. I failed item #1 miserably in one very difficult business I ran. As I fought through significant business challenges as the CEO, it had to be obvious I was unhappy about the difficulties and results, and likely made my team unhappy too. Hopefully I have learned since then, but this is a great reminder.
First step in higher EQ is self awareness.
Rick, I find I get frustrated with others for doing or being like me. I just don’t see it. I think Carl Jung talks about our tendency to see our own faults in others.
If Jung is right, we probably should notice our irritations a little more. 🙂
I am not a leader of others at this time, however, I feel like I have a good handle of the self-leadership. I want to eventually move into a leadership role–I might be on a good track. 🤩
Could be!! If I might suggest, you could say you don’t have a position of leadership. However, you are a leader. If leadership is influence, everyone is a leader. The issues is the quality of their leadership.
Very good point Dan! Thank you. You’re correct, leadership isn’t just about having direct reports, it IS in fact influence. Not only is everyone a leader, but as I have found out, we are always a leader. I learned a long time that someone is always watching, always watching behavior, reaction, etc. and as a leader, I want to make sure it makes others feel safe, comfortable, productive.
How might leaders lead themselves first?
First determine “what Is’ –the current situation and then determine what improvements are possible. Select the improvement that is most feasible and present your case for change.
Leading yourself first also implies start by setting a positive example. Start by modeling the desired behaviors.
You can’t diminish the importance of modeling the way. People follow example before they follow words.
This is a fantastic post. Having a meeting today with a department in disarray with disrespectful behavior rampant. Going to print this out and use it as a hand-out for discussion. Thank you!
It’s a privilege to be useful. I hope you have a fruitful conversation.