Self-leadership is having the ability and determination to influence yourself by habitually taking micro-steps and steering your life in a way that is right for you. It is not about sitting back and letting someone else shape how you are to evolve or where you are to end up. Positive outcomes will occur once you sit in the driver’s seat of your life and draw on your confidence, motivation and capability to take the necessary actions to create change.
Traits of Self-Leaders
Since publishing my book about courage, resilience and self-leadership, I’m often asked what it means to be an impactful self-leader? Well I can tell you that they share the following 4 traits:
Firstly, self-leaders are always in Service. They are continually looking for ways to assist and empower others to live their best lives. They genuinely go out of their way to elevate everyone around them, without worrying about what it does for their own progression. Getting recognition for this is not a concern because watching the people in their team, their family, their community, their school or their workplace being able to rise up and shine is enough fulfilment.
- Be a Mentor – look for both formal and informal opportunities to support, mentor and coach others in your workplace.
- Give Praise – whenever you can, publicly acknowledge when someone on your team has done a great job.
- Lend a Hand – offer to help a colleague with a project because you know your experience and skill will make a difference and get it done quicker.
The second trait that self-leaders share is that they lead by example. They are excellent role models because they walk their talk and because of this their colleagues willingly walk with them. As we know actions speak much louder than words and the self-leaders of our world do this with ease. Click to tweet
- Take Care of Yourself – by including movement, nourishing food and rejuvenation time in your day, not only will it improve your leadership capability, but it will also inspire others to do the same.
- Be Mindful of Your Words – be careful what you say and who you say it to. Always show support and encouragement in public and give extra guidance and recommendations in private.
- Do Unto Others – treat people the way you would like to be treated.
Thirdly, self-leaders are great listeners. In this busy, noisy, over-connected world that we live in, self-leaders have mastered the art of being present and really listening to the challenges, concerns, stories and successes of their colleagues and their customers. They understand that ‘being heard’ is what most of us are wanting in our lives.
- Be Present – do not try and multi-task while listening to someone. Give them your respect with 100% of your attention, as this is the only way you will be able to extract what is really being said.
- Ask Questions – show that you have paid attention by asking thoughtful, relevant questions.
- Summarise – always end the conversation by summarising what you have heard to ensure that the correct information has transpired.
Last but not least, self-leaders are fallible. They do not believe nor try to make out that they have all the answers because they know they make mistakes. They surround themselves with people who use their brain power and who keep their eyes and ears open so they can collectively make smart decisions about new ideas and business opportunities, as well as ways to mitigate risk.
- Admit Mistakes – no one is expected to be perfect. In fact, perfection is a fairytale. Find the courage to admit to your colleagues when you have made a mistake – you will be admired for it. Click to tweet
- Ask for Help – embracing the collective knowledge of everyone around you because you can honestly say you don’t have all the answers, is an admirable trait.
- Be Open – to lots of ideas – the good, the bad and the ugly ones. Embrace the feedback of others, allow for candid conversations, and be ready to pivot.
If you reflect on your own self-leadership traits, how would you rank yourself with these 4?