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  • Writer's pictureStephen

Leading Myself?!

I am doing a short presentation on leadership development this week, and one of the aspects of that presentation has to do with what the leadership literature calls Self-Leadership. At first glance that actually might seem like an oxymoron, because leadership would imply that others are following, so how can you lead yourself? What this really means though, is learning to invest in your own growth and development as a person and a leader, which will have significant ripple effects into the ways you are leading others

If you are someone who doesn't really think you are leading anyone, I would suggest that in some capacity we all are. For example, let's say you are a parent. You are naturally (and necessarily!) providing leadership for your children, whether you want to or not! Self-leadership in this arena involves asking and answering the question, "How can I grow and invest in myself to be a better person, which will help me be a better parent?"

Sometimes, especially if you are the parent of young children, the answer to that question might actually be, "Take a nap!" At first glance, this may seem like a selfish answer. But the reality is, when we are tired it impacts our mood, our reactions, and even our ability to make good decisions. So, by taking a nap (in a reasonable way, like when they are napping), you are actually investing in your own wellbeing, which in turn will help you be a better parent and leader to your children.

This same approach applies to all kinds of leadership situations (taking care of yourself not necessarily taking a nap, although, I like the sound of that!). When we take time to invest in ourselves, we are also making an investment in our ability to lead and invest in others. That investment isn't selfish, it's actually good self-leadership.

Here are some other examples of good Self-Leadership:

  • Read a good book

  • Take an online course

  • Journal and reflect on the previous day, looking for things to celebrate and things to possibly change

  • Invest in some personal therapy or coaching

  • Get feedback from people you trust (both to celebrate and to grow)

  • Engage in some type of physical movement or activity

  • Grow your understanding of your personality style or your emotional intelligence

What other ideas come to your mind? How could you take time to invest in yourself in a way that allowed you to be a better leader with those people who are around you? If you were going to do one thing this week to lead yourself, what would it be and how could you schedule it into your calendar so it actually got done? Remember, self-leadership is about making an investment in ourselves, so we can better lead and give ourselves away for the sake of others. Here's to leading ourselves this week so we can create a ripple effect of leadership!

Be Well, Stephen Center was created to support individuals and teams so they can live from their Purposeful Center. We specialize in executive coaching and leadership development and we’d love to support you! Click on our Services page to book a free consultation.

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