Great leaders don’t just lead other people. Great leaders have learned how to lead themselves well. Your potential to lead others is a direct result of how you lead yourself.
Why does self-leadership matter so much? If you’re leading others, they’re not just listening to you; they’re watching how you live your life. If you live with intentionality, discipline, integrity, and purpose, people will grow to trust and respect you. But the opposite is also true—trust and respect diminish if you don’t lead yourself well.
People will work for a paycheck, but they’ll give their heart for a mission they love. When you lead yourself toward passion, mission, and purpose, others will follow.
We’ll start with two keys to leading yourself…
- Develop your leadership identity.
It can seem logical to start with key #2 below, but it’s actually important to start with identity. If you always feel like you’re “junior,”“still developing,” or “sort of a leader, ”you need to embrace your leadership identity. Leadership is not just something you do. A leader is who you are. Leadership is not a title or position. Leadership is a mindset. You have influence, and your leadership matters today.
When you see yourself as a leader, it changes your posture, your confidence, and how you interact with people. When you see yourself as a leader, you stand taller, think higher, and care deeper. You feel deep, genuine responsibility. The buck stops with you, and you feel the weight and the blessing of owning outcomes.
You think higher. You’re thinking ahead, projecting into the future. You’re not just working in your business, you’re working on it.
You care deeper. Because you care more, you don’t see your role as a job. You see it as a calling and a passion. Leadership is not just something you do. A leader is who you are.
- Define your leadership initiatives.
Be honest with yourself. At their worst, nobody lies like leaders. We can deceive ourselves—but we’ll never be able to lead ourselves as long as we lie to ourselves.
We need to be specific about the things we want to growin. Name the specific skill or area. We cannot develop a skill we don’t define.
As a leader, you will never make a big difference when you are distracted by small things.”
The greatest gift you can give yourself is honesty.You will never be able to lead yourself as long as you lie to yourself.