“Mastering others is strength; mastering oneself is true power” – Lao Tsu
“In the event of the loss of cabin pressure … secure your mask on first, and then assist the other person.” – heard those words on a plane ride?
If you don’t help yourself first, how can you help anyone else?
Here’s the thing: if you are not committed to leading your own self, you should forget about leading a team or an entire organization. People are obsessed with strategies, plans on how to climb up the career ladder. But one need to realize the work of a great leader starts from inside and not outside.
In my experience as a coach for over a decade I observed that most people who fail to achieve their goals are the ones who lack self-leadership. Everyone has different goals and purpose. But it is self-leadership that makes you on of the greats in your field. Self-leaders are agile thinkers, solution oriented, flexible and more open to change. It not just inspires you, but also makes you an inspiration for everyone else around you to harness their best potential.
Back to 5 BASICS:
Here are 5 foundational habits. Practice these daily, and you’ll enjoy greater self-leadership and faster growth.
This is the golden quality of life. The simple meaning is to be aware. It requires mirror honesty. Self-awareness connects you to your authenticity. A self-aware leader is clear on his or her core strengths and weaknesses. But they don’t wait for someone to come and rescue them from the weakness. Instead they put in consistent disciplined effort to maximize the strength and improve on the weakness.
2. Track Your Emotions
As a leader you must inspire yourself and others to do, be and give their 100%. Ultimately a leader is a Master of their own emotions. A leader knows how to harness the power of confidence, calm, and courage in the face of fear, uncertainty, anxiety, set up new emotional standards and step up to a new level of creativity and conflict resolution. Follow my 7 Step Emotions Breakthrough Formula to track your emotions and shift your emotions to your advantage.
We all do some things right, and some things wrong. Set 5-10 minutes at the end of the day, to reflect on what did not work out, what could be done in an alternate way, lessons learnt, areas of improvement and you will make great strides towards becoming a great leader. According to Harvard Business Review, people who spend 15 minutes at the end of the day reflecting about lessons learned perform 23 percent better after 10 days than those who do not reflect.
Ask yourself these 3 questions:
- Where did I fail today?
- How could I make my day better?
- What is the lesson learnt?
4. Be Your Best Friend
This is the big blind spot for most people. Do you feel you are good enough? Even the most motivated achievers will hesitate a few moments before reply.
If you cannot embrace the person you are, it is like creating a wall between you and your unlimited potential. You will be wrapped around doubts, questions and inability to deliver results.
“I’m too old/young/dumb/overweight/shy,” STOP it! Is that what you would tell your best friend? Treat yourself like you would treat your best friend. By developing connection with your own self, you will develop connection with everyone else. Give yourself more credit!
5. Keep Feeding Your Fire
It doesn’t matter how many friends or family lecture you or YouTube videos motivate you. All motivation will fall flat if you don’t keep blazing your inner fire. Ask yourself is it gratitude, joy, passion, pride which top 3 emotions are your driving motivation? Keep feeding these emotions and let them drive you to self-leadership mastery.
The possibly bad news is that there are no shortcuts to self-leadership; this is a journey of years, even a lifetime. But if you truly want to become the next great leader in the world of business, tech, finance, development or whatever is your passion, the path of self-leadership will give you success not just in your business and career, but in every other aspect of your life.