“If you wouldn’t follow yourself, why would anyone else?”John C. Maxwell
LEADERS ARE PASSIONATE TO LEAD!
But when we say we “are passionate” to lead, we usually mean we are passionate to lead others.
One thing leaders need to realize is that leadership begins with you. If you can’t lead yourself, you can’t lead others.
Why is leading myself more difficult than leading others? Why do I say or do things I know are wrong (there is a biblical reference here)? It happens at home, at work, with my wife, co-workers, and those I love and lead. So while I speak of myself, I am sure I’m not alone.
The answer is simple.
I believe there are times I don’t see myself from a realistic point. I see myself from my intentions, and others see me through my actions and words. I should probably also admit that I see my intentions from the training and talks I give.
Self-leadership is defined as “the process of influencing one’s self to establish the self-direction and self-motivation needed to perform.
Self-leadership is the foundation for leadership, but unfortunately, it’s not the fun part. On the contrary, it’s most challenging. Still, self-leadership is the hard work behind the scenes that prepares you for exceptional leadership.
Tough Truths About Self-Leadership
Before we dive into some ways to lead ourselves, let me share a few more tough truths about self-leadership.
- No one cares more about your personal development than you do
- You can’t wait for someone to lead you
- No one owes you leadership
- No one is responsible for your leadership development
3 CORES of Self-Leadership
Here are what I believe are the cores of developing self-leadership.
Who are YOU when no one is looking?
- It requires YOUR attention to how you act and react
- It means expecting more from YOURSELF than others do
- It means exceeding everyone’s expectations
The question to ask YOURSELF, “What qualities do you want to be accurate within your character?
Don’t talk about it, do it!
- Identify what needs to change
- Take the initiative.
- Read voraciously. Explore what others think
- Be a lifelong learner, and be passionate about it.
- Surround yourself with mentors and people more intelligent than you.
The question to ask YOURSELF, “What are the three things I can do to improve my personal and professional growth?”
- Know your strengths & weaknesses
- Seek coaching
- Identify mentors
- Constantly evaluate what you need to “own” (good or bad) in every situation
The question to ask YOURSELF, “Where do my choices take me?”
So What, Now What
As leaders, we must never forget to self-manage our actions. Whether it is a situation or a person, we react results from our leadership frame of mind.
Failure to manage your self-leadership will create a loss of respect and the inability to influence, causing people to leave and follow others. On the other hand, if you lead yourself correctly, you will influence others, and they will follow.
“Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.”John Wooden
Take the time to evaluate your self-leadership, focusing on these 3 CORES. Then establish a process where you consistently work to apply these principles and improve.
Jim Rhone once said,
“The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor but without folly.”
If you can take hold of this, you will be an effective leader.
Denis is an Executive Director at the John Maxwell Group and is a certified leadership coach, trainer, keynote speaker, and DISC Behaviorial Consultant. Denis is a senior safety professional and is a strong passionate person of influence who is committed to teaching and communicating practical and relevant influencing techniques. His unique, passionate, and emotionally driven style resonates with many, creating a desire to become an effective leader.
You can contact Denis at firstname.lastname@example.org for information on coaching, leadership, team and culture training, DISC Behavioral consulting, or to be an inspirational speaker at your next event.