3 Keys to Self-Leadership
I discovered the importance and value of self-leadership early in my career. I was invited into leadership at an early age and because of that, I felt I needed to work harder, work more hours and achieve more than everyone else just to prove that I was capable. Anyone else experience this in your own leadership?
I can imagine many of you raising your hands as you are reading. It wasn’t until my youngest daughter, who was only five at the time, asked me why I was always busy and stressed out that I stopped and took note of how I was dangerously close to burning out. I was so busy trying to prove I was capable that I wasn’t taking time for self-leadership, and this was having a direct impact on leading myself and others well.
So I went on a quest to invest in my self-leadership, and here are the keys that worked well for me and have worked well for those I have coached over the years.
1. Be Self-Aware:
Self-awareness is the ability to discover for yourself new thoughts, beliefs, perceptions, and emotions that strengthen your ability to take action and achieve what’s important to you .
This process of self-awareness identifies the ways you perceive yourself to show up in the world. Research has found the #1 thing that shows up over and over in all successful leaders is that they have a strong sense of self or self-knowledge. They have a deep and honest understanding of themselves, or in other words, they know who they are, and they hold true to that in all life circumstances.
The more you know yourself, the more you can relate to others. When you know yourself well, you can approach any situation or conversation from a place of humble confidence and inner strength.
2. Be Mindful:
Another very important aspect of self-leadership is emotional intelligence. However, in order to fully understand emotional intelligence, we first have to BE MINDFUL and pay attention to our thoughts.
Emotional intelligence is defined as our ability to distinguish and have a greater understanding of how our thoughts lead to our feelings which then connect to our outward displays and behaviors, as well as our ability to manage and express appropriate emotions and help others do the same.
3. Be Intentional:
I love the definition of intentional. It is simply this, “done on purpose.” I like to take it a step further and say, “done on purpose for a purpose.” When we lead, we show up and engage every day, either by default or on purpose. When we show up by default is often times when we say and do things that we wish we could take back, or we end the day feeling frustrated and discouraged and not sure why. The opposite is true when we show up on purpose and focus on self-leadership. We end the day feeling encouraged and confident.
Here are a few reflection questions to get you started on your self-leadership journey:
- What can you do to be more self-aware in your leadership?
- How can you increase your emotional intelligence?
- What action step do you need to take today to be intentional about your self-leadership?
Even if you start by spending just 10 minutes per day on your self-leadership, it will have a direct and positive impact on your leadership and those you lead. In all the years I have been coaching others, no one has ever regretted the time they have spent investing in their self-leadership. In fact, it’s the opposite. They always say they wish they would have started the investment earlier. So my encouragement to you is to start today!
Make your self-leadership a priority, and please reach out to me to let me know how I can support you on your leadership journey!
- Genea Browne
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Keep leading well!
Jenni Catron and The 4Sight Group
Jenni Catron is a writer, speaker, and leadership coach who consults churches and non-profits to help them lead from their extraordinary best. She speaks at conferences and churches nationwide, seeking to help others develop their leadership gifts and lead confidently. As Founder and CEO of The 4Sight Group, she consults with individuals and teams on leadership and organizational health.
Jenni is the author of several books, including Clout: Discover and Unleash Your God-Given Influence and The 4 Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership.