5 Pivotal Practices To Grow Your Self-Leadership Abilities

5 Pivotal Practices To Grow Your Self-Leadership Abilities

Did you know that according to research published on Gallup, only 10% of leaders are equipped with the necessary skills to lead effectively? This somewhat confounding statistic highlights the importance of investing in leadership development and training.

You may wonder how to ensure you’re among the 10% of successful leaders. The thing is, becoming a successful leader is a complex and ongoing process, and many factors contribute to it. Strong communication skills, a highly skilled team, a positive working culture, embracing change and innovation and, as we see it, most importantly, ​​investing in self-development and essential self-leadership skills.

That being said, focusing on self-leadership is really about being in the driver’s seat of your own life and leading yourself through self-awareness and self-management to get to where you want to get. You are taking responsibility for your own personal and professional growth and development rather than depending on others to lead you.

Once you can navigate this, you have the makings of a  great leader since you will be the hardest person you will ever have to lead, as put but leadership expert Bill George. You understand how to show up, create, inspire and motivate others to bring out their potential.

By practising self-leadership, you can improve your ability to make decisions, take action and achieve your goals. Charles C. Mansz explained this in great length in his many books and lectures.

This skill can apply to your personal and professional life, proving to be a game changer, giving you that edge over the competition.

Let’s look at this deeper!

5 practices that will help develop your self-leadership abilities.

1. Clarify Your Purpose

The first step to growing your self-leadership abilities is to clarify your purpose.

What motivates and inspires you? What do you want to achieve in your personal and professional life? Figuring this out will help you to thrive, as well as help you to get others to succeed.

According to Susan Fowler, a leadership expert, bestselling author, and speaker, people are always motivated. The key for any leader is to determine what drives this motivation and help them achieve optimal results.

When your purpose aligns with your actions, you will gain a host of benefits, including:

  • • High energy and enthusiasm
  • • Strong commitment to your role
  • • Consistent levels of excellence
  • • A clear vision of the desired outcome

Without a clear purpose, it’s easy to feel lost or unfulfilled, like a ship floating at sea, without its compass or anchor.

2. Set Clear Goals

Once your purpose has been clarified, the next logical step is to set clear goals.

This means identifying specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound objectives to help you achieve your purpose.

Start by breaking down your purpose into smaller, achievable steps. Then set out deadlines and milestones to track your progress.

During challenging situations, you can practise establishing a long-term orientation by aligning your “in the moment” intention to your end goals and values.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • • What is my long-term goal in this situation/relationship?
  • • Based on the answer to 1, you can then determine your best interactions in the situation.

This process will help you navigate challenging situations.

3. Cultivate Self-awareness

Self-awareness is the ability to understand your own thoughts, feelings and behaviours and how these impact your performance and relationships.

Cultivating self-awareness is, therefore, essential for self-leadership, as it allows you to identify your strengths and weaknesses and make necessary changes to improve your performance, which will help those you lead.

Being able to identify and label negative feelings and thoughts helps you to become less stressed. This, in turn, helps your creativity and ability to think clearly.

To cultivate this self-awareness, you can practise mindfulness, journaling or seeking feedback from others. By increasing this skill, you can develop a greater sense of self-confidence and clarity in your decision-making.

4. Build Resilience

Resilience is the ability to recover from setbacks, adapt to change and persevere in facing challenges.

This exercise can be seen as developing a “growth mindset” where you view challenges and setbacks as opportunities for growth and learning.

Building resilience is vital for self-leadership as it helps you to stay motivated and focused, even when things seem to be going to pot! To create this resilience, practice self-care, maintain a positive mindset and seek support from others.

In doing this, you can develop greater grit and determination towards achieving your goals.

5. Practice Self-Care

Finally, practising self-care is essential for the growth of your self-leadership abilities. This means prioritising your physical, mental and emotional well-being and your needs and values.

Steven Covey, an American educator, author, businessman and motivational speaker, classed this practice as the 7th habit of highly effective people in his most famous book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

He called this “Sharpening the Saw”.

Practising self-care can reduce stress, increase productivity and improve your overall performance. To practise self-care, make time for exercise, rest, hobbies and socialising. Taking care of yourself means you can develop a greater sense of self-awareness and resilience.

Ultimately, growing your self-leadership abilities requires intentional effort and practice.

By clarifying your purpose, setting clear goals, cultivating self-awareness, building resilience, and practising self-care, you can develop the skills and mindset necessary to lead yourself towards success and, in turn, others.

Start implementing these practices in your life, and see their positive impact on your personal and professional growth.


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