Last Updated on March 28, 2023 by Milton Campbell
If you want to be able to lead other people you need to practice self-leadership first. You set the example for others to follow so make sure the example you are setting is the right one.
What is Self-Leadership?
Self-leadership is a critical aspect of personal and professional development. It involves taking responsibility for your own growth and leading yourself toward success. Self-leadership starts with self-awareness, which is the ability to recognize your emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. It’s essential to understand your strengths and weaknesses, your values, and your goals. This self-awareness helps you to make better decisions and take actions that align with your values and goals.
Confidence is another key element of self-leadership. It’s the belief in yourself and your abilities. When you are confident, you are more willing to take risks and try new things. This mindset is essential in leadership because it encourages others to follow your lead. A lack of confidence can make it difficult to make decisions, take action, and inspire others.
As a leader, it’s essential to have your own life together before leading others. If you don’t take care of yourself first, you won’t be able to lead others effectively. You must have the self-discipline to manage your time, prioritize your tasks, and work towards your goals. When you lead yourself well, you set an example for others to follow, and they will respect you for it.
Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses
“Unless you learn to face your own shadows, you will continue to see them in others, because the world outside you is only a reflection of the world inside you.”Unknown
Knowing your strengths and weaknesses helps you to identify your unique abilities and limitations. It allows you to leverage your strengths to achieve your goals while working on your weaknesses to improve yourself. As a leader, it is essential to have a clear understanding of your strengths and weaknesses to make the most of your abilities and effectively delegate tasks to others.
For instance, if you are a natural communicator, you can use your strength to inspire and motivate your team. On the other hand, if you struggle with organization and time management, you can delegate these tasks to someone who excels in these areas. By doing so, you can focus on your core strengths and maximize your potential.
Recognizing your weaknesses is also essential for personal growth and development. It enables you to identify areas where you need to improve and take action to enhance your skills. Being aware of your limitations also helps you to identify potential blind spots that could hinder your progress.
In summary, understanding your strengths and weaknesses is crucial for mastering self-leadership. It allows you to identify areas where you excel and where you need improvement. By leveraging your strengths and working on your weaknesses, you can become a more effective leader and achieve your goals.
Engage in Self-Reflection
Self-reflection is vital when it comes to self-leadership. Many times we are so focused on everything we have going on in our lives that we forget to look inside ourselves. Take a few moments to analyze yourself.
Get a sheet of paper and write down your strengths and weaknesses. Be honest with yourself. Understanding what areas you are strong in and what areas you can improve is vital for getting the most out of your personal development efforts.
In the Air Force pilots reflect after every mission. This period of reflection is called a debrief. The pilot may fly a training mission that lasts less than an hour but after they land the real work begins in their debrief session. These sessions of reflection can last anywhere from an hour up to four hours or more. During these sessions, pilots go over tapes of the flight and discuss what went right and what went wrong. This is a huge reason why Air Force pilots are so good at what they do.
Most people at the top of their game spend a lot of time reflecting on their performance. From professional athletes watching films of their last game to lawyers going over previous case files to professional poker players watching replays of their hands played. They all get significantly better because of their time invested in reflection.
If it works for these professionals it will help you get better at whatever you are trying to do. A great time to reflect is at the end of every day in the evening. Before you go to bed take a few minutes to think about your day and how it went. Don’t use the time to beat yourself up over mistakes. Instead, think of how you will handle similar situations in the future. Also, make it a point to end the debrief session on what you did right throughout the day. You always want to end on a positive note.
Use Personality Tests to Get to Know Yourself Better
Personality tests are a valuable tool for individuals seeking to gain a better understanding of themselves. These tests allow individuals to identify their strengths, weaknesses, and unique traits. The Myers & Briggs personality test is one of the most popular and notable personality tests available.
The Myers & Briggs personality test is based on the work of Carl Jung and developed by Katherine Briggs and Isabel Myers. It assesses individuals based on four dichotomies: extraversion vs. introversion, sensing vs. intuition, thinking vs. feeling, and judging vs. perceiving. By assessing individuals based on these dichotomies, the Myers & Briggs test produces 16 distinct personality types.
Many individuals find the Myers & Briggs test to be surprisingly accurate at identifying their personality type. The test can provide valuable insights into an individual’s personality, including their strengths, weaknesses, and preferred communication style. By understanding their personality type, individuals can make more informed decisions about their personal and professional lives.
If you’re interested in taking the Myers & Briggs personality test, there are many resources available online. One popular option is the 16personalities.com website, which offers a free test with no registration required. The test takes around 15 minutes to complete and provides a detailed report on your personality type. It is an excellent way to gain insight into your personality and learn about your strengths and weaknesses.
In conclusion, personality tests like the Myers & Briggs test can be a valuable tool for individuals seeking to understand themselves better. By identifying their unique personality traits, individuals can make more informed decisions about their lives and become more effective leaders.
Turn Your Weaknesses Into Strengths
Once you discover your weaknesses, it’s time to begin turning those weaknesses into strengths. Eliminating weaknesses takes deliberate practice. Have you ever seen a baby learning to walk? They start out stumbling and falling all over the place but when they fall they get back up and keep trying. Eventually, those babies stop falling and start running around all over the place. All this happens within just a few months. It doesn’t take a ton of time to change your weaknesses into strengths if you are willing to put in the effort.
Keep Your Emotions in Check
It’s important to keep your emotions in check as a leader. Negative emotions can lead to poor judgment and faulty decisions. What are negative emotions? Negative emotions can range from extreme anger to sadness to jealousy. If not contained, these negative emotions can lead to ruined relationships that may never recover.
So how do you stay calm?
Start Before You Need It
There are many steps and measures you can take to keep your emotions in check before you are in a situation where you need them. It’s always best to prepare and your emotions are no different. You need to start preparing yourself before a negative situation arises.
Managing your stress is vital to keeping your emotions in check. When you are stressed out it is very difficult to control your emotions. There are many things you can do to minimize or eliminate stress before it becomes overwhelming.
Meditating is a great way to end and or start the day. Even a 5-minute meditation session can help clear your mind and eliminate some of the stress. Meditation is all about clearing your mind and letting the world slow down around for a few minutes.
If you’re not experienced with meditation guided meditation is a great way to start. Someone walks you through the meditation and gets you into the ideal state faster. Click here for a great guided meditation for positive energy.
Physical fitness is a great way to reduce stress. Whenever I feel myself getting a little tense I love to hit the gym. This makes me feel sore but mentally refreshed. Men’s Health is a great place for information on a variety of health topics including physical fitness.
Work can be one of the top stressors in our lives. Check out this article for even more tips to reduce stress in the workplace.
Focus on Staying Calm
I know focusing on staying calm sounds obvious but it’s easier said than done. It starts with how we talk to ourselves. If you tell yourself “not to get mad”, many times your brain hears “get mad”. When you tell yourself this, you first have to think about getting mad. Instead, tell yourself “I will remain calm”. Then your brain thinks about calm and does not have to think about being mad first. Try your best to keep the negatives out of self-talk.
Using NLP to set up anchors is another good way to remain calm. This can be easily done with a little bit of preparation. First think about a time when you were at peace and extremely happy. Hear the sounds, smell the smells, and feel the way you felt. Just like you are there again. While picturing this place, gently squeeze the spot on your hand between your thumb and index finger. Do this a few times a day to reinforce the anchor. Now when you feel yourself start to get upset squeeze that part of your hand and the good feelings of that time will enter your body.
Choose a Different Perspective
Mistakes are going to happen and things are not always going to go the way we want them to. You can choose what lens you want to look at these through. What do I mean by that? Some people look at every hurdle as an insurmountable tragedy. Thinking like this takes quite a toll on a person, mentally and physically. Now if you change your perspective just a little bit and tell yourself that it’s a small speed bump, it’s way less daunting.
When you stop making every pitfall in your life so big it helps you get through them quicker. Thinking of them as small speed bumps allow you to begin thinking about a solution immediately instead of feeling sorry for yourself. You also think more clearly when you don’t allow these pitfalls to get you overly upset.
Rewarding yourself is very useful in staying motivated and can keep you focused on your self-leadership strategies. Rewards can be anything like treating yourself to your favorite ice cream to buying yourself a big-ticket item for huge accomplishments. Positive reinforcement works well on most people and it will likely work well when you do it for yourself. When you do a good job feel free to celebrate and treat yourself a little bit.
When you set goals add a reward to the achievement of the goal. This extra motivation will make it even more likely you achieve your goal. Add this reward to your vision board along with your goals to help reinforce the goal.
Something motivates you to do what you do. What is it? Are you motivated by power? Does the job motivate you? Is it helping others that motivate you? Does money motivate you? There are many motivations and none of them are wrong. Be honest with yourself. The answers to these questions will help you get more of whatever it is that motivates you and be better with self-leadership.
Don’t be a Hypocrite
As a leader, it is essential to lead by example and set the tone for your team. This means holding yourself to the same standards that you expect from your subordinates, if not higher.
If you expect your team to arrive at work on time, be productive, and take their responsibilities seriously, then you must do the same. You cannot expect your subordinates to respect you if you do not show respect for your own commitments. If you show up to work late or take extra-long breaks, you are setting a poor example for your team. They will quickly pick up on your behavior and may begin to adopt the same habits themselves.
As a leader, you have a significant impact on the culture of your organization. By setting the right example, you can create a culture of professionalism, accountability, and respect. Conversely, if you do not lead by example, you risk creating a culture of apathy, low morale, and lack of productivity.
It’s important to note that even if people above you are not following the same guidelines, you should still hold yourself to the highest standards. You cannot control the behavior of others, but you can control your own. By holding yourself to a higher standard, you demonstrate your commitment to excellence and inspire those around you to do the same.
In conclusion, self-leadership is critical to effective leadership. As a leader, you set an example for those around you to follow. By holding yourself to the same expectations that you hold everybody else to, if not higher, you create a culture of professionalism, accountability, and respect. So, if you want your subordinates to respect you, then you must first respect yourself and lead by example.
Always Look for Ways to Grow
Personal and professional development is crucial to becoming a better person and leader. It involves a continuous process of learning, growing, and improving oneself. Self-leadership means taking responsibility for your own development and pushing yourself to be more knowledgeable and skilled as a leader.
There are countless personal growth opportunities available that can enhance your self-leadership. The internet is a great place to start, with free videos, podcasts, blogs, and courses available on a variety of topics. Whether you are looking to improve your communication skills, learn about emotional intelligence, or develop your strategic thinking, there is a wealth of information available at your fingertips.
One of the benefits of online learning is the flexibility it provides. You can learn at your own pace, on your own schedule, and in the comfort of your own home. This makes it easy to fit personal and professional development into your busy schedule. Whether you have a few minutes to spare in between meetings or a couple of hours in the evening, you can find a learning opportunity that fits your schedule.
In addition to online learning, there are also many other ways to enhance your self-leadership. For example, attending conferences and workshops, reading books and articles, and seeking out mentors and coaches can all provide valuable opportunities for growth and development.
The key to effective personal and professional development is to stay curious and remain open to new ideas and perspectives. By continuously learning and growing, you can become a better person and leader, and inspire those around you to do the same.
In conclusion, personal and professional development is an essential part of self-leadership. By pushing yourself to be more knowledgeable and skilled as a leader, you can enhance your effectiveness and inspire those around you. With so many personal growth opportunities available, there has never been a better time to invest in your own development and become the best version of yourself.
To be a great leader, you need to start self-leadership. This is where leadership starts. The better you are at self-leadership, the better you will be at leading others. Make yourself a better version of yourself every day and encourage others to do the same. Never stop growing as a person.
If you enjoyed this post on self-leadership strategies please don’t forget to share using the buttons below.