Lead yourself

Posted on Wednesday.9.30.2009


Leading other people is never easy. In order to lead well, it requires one to have the discipline to think positively, work hard and pursue success for the people that one leads. As with anything great, it can come with as much frustration as there are victories. When you think about the leadership strategies and relational intelligence your team and the people you influence need, learning how to lead yourself can be the most effective thing a leader can do.

A leader must choose to take on the responsibility of leading herself, even if no one else will. You can be the leader that’s like a child: work hard, reach some successes, tire yourself out and then expect someone to notice you, pat you on the back and provide for you. On the other hand, you can be the leader that’s like an adult: work hard, reach some successes, and prioritize healthy rhythms for yourself and provide for others, so you don’t tire out and want to quit.

Here are some guidelines for leading yourself well:

  1. Take on responsibility: no one is responsible for your work and your energy level but you. It’s not somebody else’s fault you are not an effective leader.
  2. Be intentional: if you wait for things to happen and for things to come to you, you may be waiting for a long time. Intentionally seek out the relationships you need to cultivate and lose the temptation to sit around and wait for inspiration or a divine meeting to take place.
  3. Review your replenishment strategy: I had the great honor of being able to hear from Bill Hybels live at the Leadership Summit this past summer. He says this about replenishing, “the best thing you bring is a fresh you, a filled-up you, a devoted you.” Figure out and review what it takes for you to be replenished. It can be working out, reading a good book, fishing, etc. Whatever it is, make time for it.

What about you? Are there other ways that you lead yourself? Leading yourself while you lead others can be the difference between your followers listening to what you say and doing what you say. Remember, your followers can always tell if they’re getting the best version of you. Be your best for your team’s sake, not just yours.

Posted in: leadership