Keys to Self Leadership (1) – Like Yourself!
The first of the keys to self leadership may surprise you. It has nothing to do with natural ability, background or education. It is far more basic. In order to be the kind of person that others will follow easily you need to like yourself.
By ‘like yourself’ I mean, be comfortable in your own skin. If you are not happy within; if you are not reasonably content with whom you are, it is a major liability. That inner discontent colours everything. It will taint every leadership dream and gift you possess in a way that undermines you. People sense it and they withhold their hearts.
Now, it is normal for a leader to be driven, competitive and highly visionary. But in a leader who does not like himself, that latent insecurity becomes a hard edge that repels people. People may agree with what you say, but they will not give you their trust. And the harder you try the more they withhold. It’s like they intuitively know that you are really all about your own interests and do not have the capacity yet to look after their interests.
The key to becoming a successful leader is to make sure you are always on a journey to becoming a healthier person. If you struggle to like yourself and have insecurities at the core of your identity, then you need to deal with them. Get serious. Talk with close wise mentors. Go to a psychologist or counsellor and face your insecurities down.
11 signs of a secure leader:
- They are not looking to impress someone or for their next great achievement to make them happy. They are free to serve as a leader. They do not need the leadership position to make them happy
- They can laugh at themself, their foibles and have a joke at their own expense. They do not get threatened easily
- They expect to relate well to most people. They have a healthy sense of worth which is the foundation for confidence in relationships.
- They do not beat themselves up with negative self-talk. They have an inner resilience that enables them to rise up quickly when they have a set-back.
- There is a basic humility about them, and they are able to take responsibility and apologise for their mistakes.
- They know how to replenish – to relax, to unwind, to slow down and stop regularly.
- They are not afraid to ask for help. They seek advice when they are lost or confused
- They have learned to say ‘no’ to things and to people that are not a priority
- They take time consistently to look after themself – physically, emotionally, spiritually
- They are not given to excess in eating, alcohol, wasting time on computer games, sexual or financial excess, spending lots of money, etc. They are not trying to fill a void inside themself.
- They have a few very close friends with whom they have no secrets and whom they allow to speak into their life.
Many of these points come under the heading of self respect. After all, if you do not respect yourself, and look after yourself well, then why should anyone else respect you? Respecting yourself is the foundation for enjoying the respect of others. Liking yourself is the foundation for enjoying the affection of others. Liking and respecting yourself is the foundation and one of the most important keys to self leadership.
I know most leaders struggle with some of these points. It is not about being perfect before you can lead. It is about being honest with yourself and humble enough to allow others to assist you to learn the keys to self leadership and become the leader you desire to be.
Is your insecurity limiting your leadership of others?
Is your leadership role causing you to be so busy and pressured that you have somehow lost yourself? If so, what are you going to do about it before it is too late?
NB. Self Leadership is the first face of leadership. Read my recent article: Three Faces of Leadership.
My next article deals with Keys to Self Leadership (2) – Discover Your Purpose