“It begins with me: I am yet a follower, not a leader if I can’t lead myself. Personal leadership is what qualifies me for peoples’ leadership” ― Uche, Christian Awoke.
Are you tired of being a follower?
Do you long to become a leader whose character and conduct will transform many followers into leaders? Is there a desire in your heart to become a change agent?
Here’s where it all begins. Self-leadership! Self-leadership is the source, the sustainer and security of every successful leadership.
It’s interesting to let you know that:
Until you change yourself, you can never change the world. Self-change is what begets society-change. Your dreams of transforming the world will start becoming a reality, the moment you determine to transform yourself. True leadership rises and falls on the shoulders of self-leadership.
I am convinced that self-deceit and hypocrisy is what set in whenever a person tries to lead others while s/he is getting lost. self-deception is the precursor of self-damage.
Self-leadership is the genesis of every true leadership.
What’s the Need for Leadership?
Perhaps, that’s the question you’ve been battling with. Is leadership really necessary?
“But I don’t have anything to do with that!” I think it will be necessary to give you an abridged definition of the concept – leadership, for better understanding.
Leadership is the ability and capacity to influence the atmosphere of a place, the condition of things and the environment of events that determine the life and destiny of the people in such an environment.
In this case of self-leadership, it’s all about you – your life, the condition of things within and outside of you as well your environment – work, family, studies, etc.
Just as Newton’s first law of motion states – “No object ever moves without the action of an external force”. In the same hand, nothing will ever move or change without the force of leadership. Self-leadership is an internal force that focuses on the inward resurrection that will produce outward results for the individual first, then for others.
More so, Growth as well as the development of any family, church, community, nation and the world at large, is at the merciful hand of her leadership. Thus, a leadership failure is a fatal failure.
Leadership is about taking the lead, equipping the led, and producing great impacts on people’s lives, but self-leadership begins these effects on you.
Leadership is a destination, not a position. It’s the accomplishment of a great feat not the occupation of good seats. It’s about moving towards a definite and desirable target, not just maintaining of a title.
Every leadership system is actively sustained by a lively leader. There’s no leadership without a leader – an individual (someone like you) that will take the lead.
Nothing ever happens, changes, develops, succeeds or advances whether in a family, community or in a nation, with the absence of leadership.
Leadership is a two-sided coin – it is either positive or negative depending on who’s leading at the moment.
Therefore, leadership is the principal raw material for any improvement or development in our churches, communities, and nations.
If leadership must produce the latent results it’s capable of, then it must begin from the foundation – self-leadership!
The Self-leadership Life
Self-leadership is an inside-out lifestyle. It is the heart of impactful living because the more successful you are in leading yourself, the more successful you will become in other areas especially in impacting people positively.
Andrew Bryant in a blog post put forward his perspective thus:
Self-Leadership is having a developed sense of who you are, what you can do, where you are going coupled with the ability to influence your communication, emotions, and behavior on the way to getting there.
It is about taking full responsibility and being accurately accountable to yourself in everything that happens – this is missing the link in most organization.
Understanding the Dynamics of Self-leadership
“You can’t lead people if you can’t lead yourself. Self-leadership qualities qualifies you to become a co-operate leader.” ― Israelmore Ayivor.
No builder ever commences building without a design or a pattern. If this is true, then why would you think of successfully leading others without first taking the lead of your personal life.
There are fundamental bricklaying processes that guarantee quality self-leadership – understanding the dynamics.
Leadership becomes a mirage when the leader does not know himself or herself. Self-awareness is the first building block of leadership.
It is capsuled, first and foremost, in discovering your purpose for living, capturing a clear picture of your future, understanding your strengths and weaknesses, and knowing your limitations and emotions.
Self-awareness is the secret code for influencing every situation and climate of your life and that of the people around you.
Becoming aware of yourself is the foundation of character building, which is the fulcrum of effective leadership. You must know your true self. Until you know yourself, you cannot be known!
Leadership is built on principles. Every vision that is not found written in the book of principles never prospers. Self-leadership is about self-control.
Self-leaders regulate their actions, tempers, and words. They know when to release themselves as well as when to refrain. Self-leaders are not controlled by situations or circumstances but they are always in charge.
Every self-leader is an impactprenuer. To become a self-leader, your drive for leadership must move from money, fame, and pride in looking for ways to change people’s life positively.
You can also read: Look! The world is gasping for your Breathe
Internal drive for Change
A major ingredient of self-leadership is the undying passion for positive change. Self-leaders do not accept tradition, they break it.
As Lt., Dr. Myles Munroe once said, “If you need people to approve of you whatever you are doing, then you are not yet a leader”. Self-leaders don’t move because of people’s motivation, they self-driven for change.
Management Skills of Self-leaders
Every leader is also a manager. Whereas managers maintain the status quo, leaders challenge the status quo.
Every self-leader is dynamical in effective management. Such management skills can be summed in these four ladders of personal management:
You truly begin to lead yourself, the moment you set orders over your life to deliver purpose on earth. Self-management involves pursuing your life’s vision doggedly.
It is evident in your ability to separate between the lawful and the expedient – choosing between the profitable from acceptable and taking the right decision against good decisions.
You are responsible for the outcome of your life. Efficient self-management is what guarantees your ultimate accomplishment.
Leaders who are self-managers are tireless learners. You need sustained self-training to generate impact and sustain relevance.
Benjamin Franklin wrote_ “Doth thou love life? Then don’t squander time; invest it for that is the stuff life is made up with”. The worth of your is the function of your time. All-time wasters are treasure wasters.
Self-leaders don’t spend their time browsing people’s record, they spend their time breaking records. They have huge value for time. You can’t be a leader of any organization if you have not mastered the art of effective time management.
It was Nnamdi Azikiwe of blessed memory who said – “Give me my youth back and I will pay any price for it”. Any time wasted is a destiny squandered!
Self-leadership is about the movement to a destination. As a leader, you would have huge tasks within a limited time to attend to them. Self-leaders know their task and they finish it.
You cannot finish any task without focus and only focused leaders end up as front-liners! Your future lies in your hand.
If you are busy here and there, then you are certain of nowhere. No matter how weak you may be, if you invest quality time in your future, you will get unusual and unlimited results.
Efficient Resource Management
“When you are not good to financial management, you will suffer financial embarrassment. Whatever is not well managed is bound to be damaged” ― Dr. David Oyedepo
Poverty is a product of poor management. Your future is not yet secured as a leader until you cure the lesions of resource waste. Self-leaders don’t spend their money to impress people rather they spend to impact lives.
Efficiency in resource management involves intelligent utilization of what you have, no matter the size, for maximum profit. Every lack is traceable to inefficient management of what was available. Self-leadership begins here.
Leading the Self-leadership Life
Success as rightly captured by Dr. Myles is a journey of discovery and adventure as you explore your God-given potentials. Self-leadership is not a product of event but of a process.
When you live a normal life, you are sure to getting normal results and becoming a normal person. Developing self-leadership takes time, effort and resources. You have to get committed to doing it daily. When you fail, rise and do it again.
It takes consistent Monitoring of your character, watching your emotions, guarding your intentions, building your motivation for impact and staying focused on your vision.
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