‘Self-Respect’ is important.
Most self-leadership discussion focuses on ‘self-management’. Things like: time management, personal organisation, learning to be on time and keep your word.
While self-management is an important part of the picture, I have come to understand that there is more. ‘Self-respect’ is the necessary core of a healthy effective leader. Poor self-respect will eventually taint everything a leaders does.
Self-respect is deeply linked to the nature of being. It affects identity. It fits alongside other important qualities such as self-awareness and self-care that are part of the make up of every healthy human being.
You may have leadership gifts that draw people to you but it will be difficult for people to deeply bond to your leadership unless you learn to respect yourself.
7 Things Self-Respect Enables You To Do:
- Stand up on the inside. You will be able to stand up, speak up and persuasively defend what you believe. If you rarely take a stand on anything, and worry too much about what others think, I’d venture to say that you have issues with self-respect. If you easily compromise what you believe or cannot speak up you are actually dis-respecting yourself, and not ever going to be an effective leader who commands respect.
- Set clear boundaries. Healthy boundaries for your life and relationships enable you to choose freely, to say ‘yes’ without obligation and ‘no’ without guilt. [Cf. Boundaries, Cloud & Townsend].
- Implement ‘self-care’ strategies. These enable you to look after yourself well even when you are in a high pressure role. Self-care is essential for sustainable leadership.
- Keep promises to yourself. Leadership always involves sacrifices. However, leaders with poor self-respect make the wrong sacrifices. They sacrifice health, fitness, family, and close friends in misguided attempts to impress others on the public stage.
- Maintain the respect of those closest to you. When you follow through on your commitments to yourself, you are more likely to consistently prioritise those you love.
- Develop good personal disciplines. Things like being on time, keeping your word, preparing for events, speeches, etc. Things that build trust and make life work. Self-respect will lift you to present yourself well across your life.
- Be Secure. Self-respect releases a high degree of personal security. When you respect yourself you are more likely to be relaxed about yourself. You have less need to impress. You can focus on serving those you lead. You are more likely to be an empowering leader. There is less fear and striving.
In order to fully appreciate self-leadership, it is critical to address the core issue of self-respect. Self-respect, self-care and self-management together go to make up self-leadership. For health, energy and sustainability all three need to be working well.
When a person leads themselves well the result is always increased capacity to influence.
That is why the most important person that you MUST lead well is yourself.