You cannot lead others if you’re first not willing to lead yourself! But this raises the important question, “What does self-leadership even look like?” We dive into this topic and lay out 3 important practices that self-leaders do. We also dive into the leadership pyramid and why, before you can manage a team, a cause, or a culture, you must first take on the mantle of leading yourself.

Self-Leadership Principle #1: Self-Leaders Develop an Intimate Relationship With Their Conscience

This principle speaks to the foundation of any great leader: Congruency. In leadership, and in business in general in my opinion, congruency is king. This is because people are more adept than ever at sniffing out a fraud. We are so inundated with advertising, people trying to get our attention, and distractions of all sorts these days that we’ve all developed pretty good “BS-Meters”, which isn’t such a bad by-product of the technological revolution.

Because of the hyper-evolved BS-Meters of our team, our customers, our clients, and the marketplace in general, the more we’re able to be led by our conscience, to do the right thing, to operate the right way, etc. the more trust we’ll be able to develop with whomever we’re leading. But that’s not the only reason why we should want to develop an intimate relationship with our conscience. We should also do it because:

1) it’s the right thing to do and
2) we’ll be led to more powerful decisions if we’re willing to consult our conscience often.

I’m not going to speak too much to the “it’s the right thing to do” section because that really speaks for itself, but one thing people don’t consider enough is how, for those of us with an impact orientation, more decisions than we realize can be considered important, impactful, and meaningful.

What time you decide to get up the morning….
What you eat for breakfast….
How you maintain your personal relationships…
How focused you choose to be….
How present you are with your people….

And many other choices we make over the course of our days matter way more than oftentimes we allow ourselves to think about because they all impact which version of us shows up and which version of us showing up will determine the level of impact we’re able to make on a daily basis.

Self-Leadership Principle #2: Self-Leaders Value Their Energy

If influence is our aim – and it must be for anyone looking to make an impact – then your energetic output is paramount. Why….? Because he or she with the most energy usually is the more influential person in a conversation or exchange. Think back to some of the most impactful, transformational moments you’ve experienced in your life.

My guess is that the person or people showing up for you in those moments showed up with either a lot of energy or incredibly focused and present energy. In fact, I cannot think of a single time I walked away positively impacted by someone where that was not the case.

The best way to increase your energy is simply to ask yourself, ‘What are the habits, patterns, and rituals I need to commit to increase my energy?” By doing so, you’ll increase your overall energetic output and your capacity to focus and perceive insights.

Self-Leadership Principle #3: Self-Leaders Do Things They Don’t Feel Like Doing

It’s human nature to want to take the path of least resistance, but self-leaders have trained themselves to be willing to do things even when they don’t feel like it. This is foundational core of any sort of mental strength and mental strength is a must for leaders.

Do you embrace challenge or shy away from it? Do you often give up on your goals when the going gets tough or do you continue to commit to the actions necessary? Do you throw pity parties for yourself when you fall behind, or do you simply devise a new plan of attack and follow-through come hell or high water?

I know it all sounds a little cheesy and cliché, but sometimes these tried-and-true principles around follow-through, execution, and mental strength are just sorts of leadership we need to embody to reach out next level.

Written By: Andrew Biggs, CEO & Founder at Better Than Rich
Published Date: February 24, 2020
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