The Art of Leading One’s Self.
“We should invest 50 percent of our leadership amperage into the task of leading ourselves; and the remaining 50 percent should be divided into leading down, leading up, and leading laterally.” -Bill Hybels
The most important person that you will ever lead is yourself. This is easy to think of philosophically, but is hard to live out in practicality. From the reading, failing, mentoring received, leading, and trying that I’ve done I’ve found that leading one’s self can be broken down into a few different categories. These categories include developing disciplines, creating a vision for your life, and seeking honest feedback.
Disciplines- Think through the day of someone in your dream job. Think through some of the daily habits they may have that you should start today to help you get to that job. Whether that’s running daily, finding a mentor, reading the WSJ every night, or forcing yourself to have a consistent go to sleep/wake up time you need to develop strategic disciplines that help you to push yourself as a leader. I think one of most important discipline for any leader is to read books from the leaders in your specific field.
Vision for your life- If you don’t have a plan of where or what you want to be, than you won’t go much more than what you already have. This is true in leading a group or organization as well as it is true for your personal life as well. If you don’t have ambitious dreams or goals, and follow them up with plans, than you aren’t really leading yourself anywhere, but where you are at now. I don’t mean that you should leave where you are at in position or location, but I do mean that we should all be seeking growth and new challenges to conquer.
Honest feedback- Nine times out of ten you will either think too harshly about yourself or you will think too highly of yourself. Without honest feedback it is hard to see where and what we need to improve on. Honest feedback is also hard, as we can get defensive of ourself and justify a million different ways that we didn’t do our best. Remember that you asked for the feedback, and they are trying to help you grow. Get honest feedback about speaking, project leading, problem solving, writing, meetings, and any other capacity in which you may lead.
This should be a start for you on self-leadership. Develop the daily disciplines, find a vision for your life, and seek honest feedback.