What is the first thing that comes to mind when we talk about leadership? Is it about making people follow you? Or is it about having the skill and capacity to run an organization? Is it the ability to influence or persuade others to be better?
If we are to search for its definition online, we will be faced with several different definitions available, mostly from experts and gurus who have a lot of experience in leadership.
There are a lot of leadership styles and approaches that one can acquire, imbibe, or be inspired to be able to do something. But here, the focus will be on the most basic thing about leadership. And that is the challenge of leading yourself
Sounds a bit awkward, right? Why would you have to leade yourself? Shouldn’t it already come with the territory – to be self-motivated while motivating others?
As I observe it, leading oneself is quite as difficult as leading others – if not more – because you have the freedom to choose if you will do it or not.
Some people do well whenever there is someone leading them. However, it’s another thing when you are all by yourself and making the decisions for you.
From the moment you wake up, to the end of the day, you are leading yourself. Unless you are aware of it, there may be chances that you are being led by other’s opinion, beliefs, and experiences. This is why it’s best to be aware that you are the leader of yourself.
Here are some tips for you to be aware that you are leading yourself.
Remember that you are a leader everyday
There may be chances that you miss out on this thought, especially if you are under a supervisor that has a stronger personality than yours. Once you are outrun by others who lead you or better yet, authoritative leaders, there is a chance that you neglect that you are a leader by leading yourself.
Leading oneself means having a vision of where you want to go and ensuring that you are on the right track in getting there.
In order for you to lead yourself, you need to have a deep foundation on your beliefs. Beliefs are the things that you learn, accept, and experience that you accept to be true.
In order for you to lead yourself, these beliefs must be the paddle of your boat towards your established vision and not use another’s paddle. Waking up every morning and remembering that you are an everyday leader spells the difference for those who are just waiting for others to lead them. Again, from the moment you wake up until the end of the day, make sure that you are able to lead yourself.
If you are already a leader of others, challenge yourself to be a leader of self.
So, they say that it’s easy to lead others than to lead oneself. This is generally true because when you are leading others, you are holding certain standards that will apply to them that you can actually tiptoe around and not do yourself.
Unless you are the type of person who wants to do it first, then make others do it. But the reality is that when a person is in the position, there are times that personal discipline is neglected and leading others becomes the main thing to do.
Don’t forget that it’s how you lead yourself that has placed you in the position to lead others. There are a lot of managers and supervisors who shifted from being a hands-on leader to being passive because of the position.
Always remember that when leading oneself in the form of personal discipline is neglected, your drive as a leader of yourself and of others will be greatly affected as well.
Leading oneself is more of mental fortitude rather than the strength of a physical aspect. For those people who have developed their minds to withstand every discouragement or challenge that comes from within, they have the capacity to make their body follow what their mind says.
Whatever the motivation may be, leading yourself will allow you to see the best version of yourself. Once you achieve this, leading others will follow.
Skills will be learned with determination. People will be attracted to the quality you can bring in both your work and in your life. You can easily be a positive influence on others.
Remember, it starts with how you are leading yourself every day.