Leadership is one of the hardest things you’ll ever do. It is also one of the most rewarding things you can do. Whether your leading your children, your family, your department, your company or your team, leadership can be challenging.
Leadership is hard because if you want to lead well it takes time, energy, intentionality and confidence. To lead well a person has to constantly be thinking ahead and also dealing with the present reality. The ability to influence others in a positive way starts with the way a person leads themselves.
Leading yourself is probably the most challenging part of leadership. You know yourself better than anyone and so you tend to be harder on yourself than on others. You can also talk yourself into things that are not good for you and justify bad behavior. Unless you have some accountability in your life leading yourself can be a loosing battle.
So here are some tips on how to lead yourself better, so that you can lead others better:
- Develop a Personal Growth Plan or Life Plan – This is a powerful exercise that should be done once a year and then followed throughout the year. Pick the important large areas of your life like; Faith, Family, Marriage, Finances, Work, Health. Once you’ve settled on 3-5 main areas then write a one paragraph description of what you want that area of your life to be like. Once you’ve done that, set 3-5 specific goals that can help you move closer to that ideal that you just described. Once you have that done then transfer those goals to your to-do list or calendar so that you start working on it.
- Get Accountable – It’s on thing to set some goals and work on achieving those things, it’s another to share those goals with someone else and ask them to hold you accountable. Accountability only works if you are honest and completely open. It also takes a person that cares about you and that can be trusted to hold you accountable and ask the tough questions. If you have that kind of relationship or relationships in your life it can accelerate your growth and development. If you don’t have that start working on developing that kind of a relationship with someone.
- Ease up – What I mean by that is it’s important to ease up on yourself and not be too negative about yourself. We can be our own worst enemy when it comes to change or personal growth. Cut yourself some slack and look for the positive things that your doing and don’t always focus on the negative. It’s OK to put pressure on yourself, but be careful it’s not too much.
- Take a Risk – This is huge when leading yourself. When you take a risk and try something new or push yourself to do something in spite of your fears, real growth happens. The danger in self-leadership is to get comfortable and not push yourself to get better. When that happens your influence with others will start to go down. If your not stretching and growing you can’t ask others to stretch and grow.
Leadership is hard and rewarding. It’s either increasing or decreasing and you decide which direction it’s going.