Although many would agree that leadership starts with leading yourself well, they want to know, “What are the practical steps I can take to improve my self-leadership?” I would suggest the first step involve a self-evaluation and personal inventory. Achieving clarity on the following questions can help build that solid foundation from which to grow self-leadership:
- What do I stand for?
- What do I value?
- What am I good at and what am I not?
- Am I following my passion?
- Is my personal vision clear?
- Am I excited in what I do and whom I do it with?
- Am I making decisions that honor everyone?
Bill Hybels (2009) mentions that great leaders embody several key traits. After addressing the “what and how” questions, a deeper dive into personal characteristics will continue that self-leadership inventory. On a continuum, leaders should ask themselves which traits they hold strongly and which ones they want to develop further?
- Emotional authenticity
- Commitment to collaboration
The self-evaluation goal is to become self-full, which is to attend to oneself in a way that allows one to lead self and others well. At times, leaders can extend themselves so far and for so long that they exhaust themselves and are then not able to give others their best. Therefore, leaders should ask themselves, “Where will I focus my attention and where will I not?” Leaders cannot be all things to all people and should understand their limits. Leaders benefit by scheduling downtime to work on self-leadership and keep themselves energized.
Hybels, B. (2009). Courageous Leadership. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach and consultant with an extensive background in leadership and business development. She coaches individuals as well as designs and facilitates workshops. She has a passion to help organizations engage all its employees. You can learn more about Sandra by visiting her website at www.shinecrossings.com.