Powerful leaders in history, regardless of who they lead and what they accomplish have admitted that the greatest challenge they have had to face is to lead themselves. It’s not possible to lead and transform our teams and organizations without the ability to lead and transform ourselves as transformational leaders do.
Let’s observe what is preventing you from leading yourself, why self leadership is a basic element for a transformational leader, and how we can improve our self leadership.
Leading yourself well means that you hold yourself to a higher standard of accountability than others do. It means that you are held responsible for your own actions and if you are in a leadership position you are responsible, as well, for those you lead.
Doesn’t matter how high you rise or how powerful you are, you must always seek to do what is right. Thus, it is wise to be honest and admit that the toughest person you have to lead is yourself.
Judging ourselves wrongly can become an issue that doesn’t let us move forward in our projects or in life. Some people often become their own worst enemies and disqualify themselves. Most of the time, we don’t need to be concerned about the competition or what others say, as long as we work in ourselves.
People disqualify themselves when:
- They don’t see themselves as they see others. Human nature seems to give us the ability to evaluate everybody else except ourselves. In reality, the first person that we must examine is the one that we see in the mirror every morning. If you are not looking at yourself realistically, you are probably missing out on your own struggles that you need to overcome, making impossible for you to lead yourself effectively.
- They use a totally different set of criteria for judging themselves versus others. Usually they are judging someone else is based on their actions – what they do or don’t do. Yet, when they are judging themselves they do it based on their own intentions. Thus, if they are doing the wrong thing, but they believe that their motives are good, they justify themselves and are willing to do the same thing repeatedly before requiring themselves to change.
Self leadership is one of the basic cultural elements that a transformational leader usually demonstrates. They behave in ways that allow them to be a role model to others. These leaders possess an idealized influence; they are admired, respected, and trusted.
That level of influence beyond space and time include names like Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr., George Washington, Bill Gates, and many others that have contributed to the transformation of many.
How can we increase our ability to lead ourselves?
- Seek to connect to understand others: the ability to lead and support others in their transformational process requires an understanding of the world that others live in. Connecting with others becomes possible when we can relate to them, their feelings, and ideas, in other words, when we have walked in their shoes.
Leaders that connect with others have better relationships, experience less conflict, influence others positively, and empower and develop outstanding teams that take organizations to higher levels of achievements.
In LEADINFORCE we can help you to relate and connect with others in a way that increases your influence on them.
- Learn followership: as a transformational leader and an entrepreneur sooner or later we will be delegating to others, teaching others, or mentoring them to be successful. We will not be able to accomplish it if we don’t know what it means to be under someone else’s authority in order to have a better understanding of how authority should be exercised.
On the other hand, leaders who have never followed well or have not submitted to authority tend to be prideful, unrealistic, rigid, and autocratic. Thus, arrogant leaders are rarely effective in the long run as they alienate colleagues and all the other leaders around them.
Learn to understand others and follow other leaders to be a humble and more effective transformational leader, capable of transforming yourself and others.
Question: How can you improve your ability to lead yourself?