After many years of working in the corporate world as a manager and leader and as a person passionate about development of others, I have come to the understanding that self leadership is essential to effective leadership. In other words, if you can not lead and take responsibility for yourself as a totality, how can you lead others?
What is involved in self leadership? Self leadership is taking responsibility for yourself, for your family and other responsibilities that you have “signed up to”. This process begins with your inner core. Inner core - who you truly are - your values around family, health, work, eating , leisure sport……, and the list goes on.
Self leadership is about what makes you comfortable with who you are - your confidence around your knowledge, your ability to share ideas, opinions, disagree with others with assertion, being creative, having the force of your convictions and so on. However, for me self leadership is also about how comfortable you feel within your body and mind? And how demanding you are of your body and mind?
Having goals and direction in life and being in touch with why you are here and having the drive to follow that path, means having respect for the vehicle that carries this programming. Would you feed your car with a McDonalds and Coke? What a stupid question I hear you saying followed closely by the answer -“Of course not”! Why then do you expect you will perform well on the same diet? Peak performance includes body and mind. The two are inextricably linked. A healthy body links to a healthy mind which is able to assess information, evaluate situations, respond quickly under pressure, absorb information, and cope reasonably with crises as and when they occur without causing a huge cortisol rush and constant drain on your adrenals.
Self leadership for me means listening to your body and responding to how it feels and what it needs in order to keep it on peak performance. In a nutshell - it is about balance in your chosen profession or work with eating a healthy diet, making sure that movement is in your daily schedule, whether that is swimming, running, walking, doing pilates or anything else, but simply moving, and having adequate quality sleep. In addition it means recognising and following your life’s purpose, having the courage to follow that path that keeps nagging, but we don’t do due to some reason, some trap or excuse that holds us back. Is that trap money, time, lack of something, inability, fear or something else? In fact do you realise that you are trapped? Zhang Xin (Chinese billionaire business magnate) said “The only thing that limits us is ourselves”.
What is limiting you from becoming what you want to be?