According to John C Maxwell, the highest form of leadership is self-leadership. It is however the most difficult form of leadership. Self-leadership is difficult because it’s so much easier to tell other people what to do. Think about it for a minute. When someone asks for advice, it is usually very easy to ramble off suggestions and ideas for others however, when we find ourselves in similar situations, we rarely take the advice we give to others.
It is said that leadership is influence and yes it actually is. Influence requires:
- Connection – Getting to know others, what motivates them, what things are important to them, what are their goals, dreams and aspirations
- Knowledge – In order to influence others, you will need to demonstrate a competency in your field
- A history of success – people like to follow leaders who get things done
- Humility – people are more inclined to connect with a leader who demonstrates humility and gratitude
If leadership is influence, self-leadership can be described as influencing yourself to accomplish your goals & dreams. Self-leadership is one of the most powerful keys to success and also one of the most difficult things to achieve. To lead yourself successfully, you have to know who you are, what you want to achieve, where you want to go and how you will get there. It is only after you have a strong sense of who you are and what you want that you can begin the process of self-leadership. Self-leadership requires you to:
- Develop a strong character
- Be disciplined in pursuit of your goals
- Be focused on the end result
- Have a plan to handle disappointments, setbacks and failures
- Connect with yourself and others
- Control your emotions
- Motivate yourself
- Set a good example at all times
- Be knowledgeable
Self-leadership is not an easy road and like everything else requires time to develop. There are many rewards associated with self-leadership and these include a greater success in achieving your goals, a heightened sense of purpose, a strong reputation as an effective results driven but people focused leader & people will naturally follow you.
Tip of the week: Self-leadership will elevate and advance you. Take some time to determine who you are, what you want to achieve and set about building on the self-leadership traits listed above.