Self-Leadership First

Self-Leadership FirstYou are a leader—you lead yourself every day! Leading the “self” is one leadership role that you can’t escape. Before you can effectively lead others, you must lead yourself. What is self-leadership? What can you do to improve your self-leadership?

Taking charge of your personal life is how to improve at self-leadership. It’s making intentional choices that move you closer to personal fulfillment, health, and success. These choices affect you and influence every life you touch. There are three critical components in self-leadership: spiritual moorings, intellectual growth, and physical health. Self-leaders understand their own values and purpose, keep their minds alert and growing, and maintain a healthy body.

Spiritual Self-Leadership

First, evaluate your spiritual moorings. Author Peter Block, in his book Stewardship – Choosing Service over Self-interest, says, “Spirituality is the process of living out a set of deeply held personal values, of honoring forces or a presence greater than ourselves. It expresses our desire to find meaning in… what we do.” Where is your faith? Do you live it out daily? Does your spirituality guide your purpose in life? Your spiritual moorings are your moral and ethical compass influencing how you view and interact with yourself and others.

Intellectual Self-Leadership

Second, grow intellectually. Stay on the leading edge in your areas of interest and in your professional field. Good leaders understand that they don’t know it all, and see the benefit of seeking new knowledge.  Albert Einstein said, “Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death.” Active intellect produces fresh insights, helps you see a bigger picture beyond your present circumstances, and enhances the lives of those around you.

Physical Self-Leadership

Third, maintain good physical health. Adequate rest, nutrition and exercise result in less mistakes and better decisions.  President J. F. Kennedy noted, “Physical fitness is the basis for all other forms of excellence.” A healthy body improves your life. Additionally, a healthy body is a good model for those you lead.

Develop these three components of leadership to provide foundation and balance for self-leadership. Lead yourself well and enjoy the benefits!


Join the conversation! What practical advice would you offer to others for leading oneself first? Leave your advice in a comment.