Leadership is the ability to influence people in order to get things done. Meanwhile, self-leadership is the ability to consciously influence your own thoughts and behavior in order to achieve your personal goals or an organization’s objectives.
Self-led people mostly take their own decisions and set personal targets. This ability is typical of entrepreneurs, mentors, top managers etc.
We say a person has self-leadership skills when he has foresight, makes the right decisions and choices on his own, and exhibits dedication towards achieving his goals.
Aside goal setting, self-awareness is another factor that helps make people great self-leaders. Every manager must possess self-leadership skills.
Importance of self-leadership
Self-leadership is the first stage or level of leadership. For employees, whether mangers or ordinary subordinates, self-leadership is of great importance.
As a manager, you receive very little or no supervision. This means you should be able to plan and set your objectives on your own, as well as influence your own self to follow those plans.
As lower level employee, you can never be sure the kind of management or leaders you will meet in the course of tour career. Despite whatever leadership you may come across –whether laissez faire, democratic or autocratic – you should be able to exhibit self-leadership. Employers like workers who can take great decisions on their own and are able to influence themselves to work effectively.
Self-leadership helps make the individual proactive, disciplined, and an independent decision maker. People who have no strong sense of self-leadership tend to feel they are not in control of themselves, often lack focus and get overwhelmed easily.
How to improve on self-leadership
Self-leadership is indisputably a lovable skill. Here are four tips that should help you improve on self-leadership skills.
- Clarity of purpose. Every leadership or leader has a vision. Being your own leader, your purpose or vision will be the foundation upon which you will build self-leadership. Without properly scripted objectives or purpose for your life, you will be at peril – trying to follow people’s plans or ideas for your life – and you end up stuck in the middle of nowhere.
- Aim at success and take reasonable risks. Risk taking is an essential aspect of life. Challenge yourself to take on daring projects. Don’t discourage yourself with past failures of yourself or others – focus on success. However, they should be reasonably calculated risks that are relevant to your purpose.
- Spend time to reflect on your life. While you remain the active doer of the things you do, you may see things from your perspective only. Take some time off to reflect on your life – compare the past to the present and the present to future goals. Until you take a break to analyze yourself, you may never identify certain petty shortcomings. Reflections can also mean allowing someone to make an objective assessment of you.
- Don’t tolerate just anything. You cannot put your vision at risk. You should learn to be intolerant of any suggestion or ideas which are not in line with your vision. This intolerance is not towards others only but yourself too. It includes not tolerating negative aspects of your nature such as laziness, fear, timidity etc.