Self-Leadership (Part III)

This is the third of four parts on ‘self-leadership’. We hope that you’ve read the first two parts. If you haven’t, we encourage you to first read it and then continue with this part.

The following is an inspirational extract from the movie Rocky Balboa (2006) in which he tells his son: “Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't how hard you hit; it's about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. How much you can take, and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done. Now, if you know what you're worth, then go out and get what you're worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hit, and not pointing fingers saying you ain't where you are because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain't you. You're better than that!”

This is so true and very inspiring. Being a ‘self-leader’ means that you are brave enough to face challenges head-on, saying “bring it on, give it all you got”. It doesn’t mean that you are not scared, it is OK to be sacred, but don’t let the fear stop you from not trying. Try, get beaten. So what get right back up and say you’re ready for another round. Don’t give up….easily.

Here are the next 5 points on self-leadership. We hope you will enjoy reading it and most importantly, implement it!

1. Be flexible: Learn to be flexible, nothing is certain. There is always the 11th hour notice. Learning to be flexible helps you to deal with change effectively. Every leader needs to be flexible. It is not possible to achieve greatness unless you are flexible.

2. Learn: Learn and keep learning. There is no ‘period’ when it comes to learning. No one can safely say that they know everything there is to know. Learn to love learning! When you learn, you have a something that is more valuable than money. Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you. Knowledge is the key to success; it gives you a competitive edge and will never fail you. Learn! Learn! Learn!

3. Genuinely Care: genuinely care for your own well being, when you learn to do this, it becomes easier to do so with others. By being genuinely caring doesn’t mean that you become a door mat for others to walk on. It means that you respect their feelings, thoughts and emotions. This is not some fuzzy concept and it is often less discussed. In reality, when you genuinely care about yourself and your team it reflects in every action and decision that you take.

4. Integrity: An important ingredient for every great leader is personal integrity. Having integrity means that you are an honest, reliable and trustworthy person. Be honest in everything that you say and do. Be transparent and don’t try to hide or conceal any fact, be truthful. Even if you have made a mistake, no matter how small, accept responsibility for it and move on. Integrity is a trait that speaks for itself and it reflects in all your actions and decisions. To be ethical is to do the right thing, always. It is the hallmark of every great organization.

5. Optimist: always have a ‘Positive Mental Attitude’ (PMA). Be optimistic and stem pessimism at the root. Don’t encourage people who are pessimistic in your team, they spread uneasiness and wreck team spirit. And always look at the sunny side, there is hope. You have not failed, until you’ve decided that you have failed. Have a ‘never say die’ attitude.

We hope you have enjoyed reading the third part on self-leadership. Feel free to leave us a note in the comments section.

Self-Leadership (Part II)

As promised, this is the second of four parts on ‘self-leadership’. We hope that you’ve read the first part already, if you haven’t we encourage you to first read it and then continue with this part.

Self-leaders are inspirational. They lead with conviction; they are full of zest for life. They lead with such style that it is difficult for their enthusiasm to not rub off on you.

Here we go with the next five points:

1. Change Catalyst: Be a catalyst for change. Nothing in today’s world is constant. In fact, the only thing that is constant is ‘change’. Unless we are ready to change ourselves, in the way we think and act, it is going to be difficult to be a change catalyst. Learn to be a champion of change. If we don’t adapt, competition will eat in to us. Be a champion of change!

2. Ask questions: Don’t ever be afraid to ask questions. There is nothing wrong in asking questions when you are unsure. A good leader knows that in order to execute a task successfully, you will have questions that need answers. You are bound to get lost if you don’t know where you are headed!

3. Ideation: is a creative process of generating, developing, and communicating new ideas. Learn to love new ideas, don’t fear to experiment. Never discourage anyone when they have a new idea; encourage them. The wonderful aspect about an idea is that it helps you to look at something routine and turn it into something remarkable.

4. Believe: Belief is crucial. Believe not only in your own capabilities, but in others as well. Believing that you will succeed is half the battle won. Believe and don’t lose confidence. Perseverance is the key.

5. Build Trust: Learn to trust and be trustworthy. Trust is established over time. The thing about trust is that once it is broken, it can take a very long time to re-establish. Be trustworthy, people should be able to trust you, only then can you expect them to follow you.

We hope you have enjoyed reading the second part on self-leadership. Feel free to leave us a note in the comments section.


We all have heard about ‘leadership’ or perhaps attended a workshop/seminar on it. It seems to be the buzzword in today’s global economy. So are leaders born or made? This question is a sure debate that has fueled many intellectual discussions in classrooms across the world. Well, we aren’t headed in that direction though! This article will discuss something beyond leading others, it is about leading oneself. It is known as ‘self-leadership’.

So what is ‘self-leadership’ all about? Self-leadership is the art of learning to lead yourself. Self-leadership has been more broadly defined as "the process" of influencing oneself to establish the self-direction and self-motivation needed to perform. It is important because, you can’t lead others if you can’t first learn to lead yourself. When you learn to master this art, leading a team should be a walk in the park (should be relatively easier!).

This article is a four part series on ‘self-leadership’. Each part will have 5 points. Without further ado here are the first 5:

1. Vision, Mission & Values: to be a self-leader you need to have a vision, mission and good value systems. Leaders are visionaries with a deep sense of passion to achieve every goal and the value system is what helps you achieve it. You need to have good values; it is an integral part of being a good leader. Treat everyone fairly and strive to be unbiased in everything you do. Walk the talk and don’t settle for mediocrity. There is this saying which beautifully captures this essence, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

2. Accept Responsibility: if you are a self-leader you will know that it is important to take responsibility, don’t shy away. If someone has done something right give away the credit, if they have done something wrong, accept responsibility. This will help you establish credibility with your team and you will be their role model. The last person to abort a troubled ship is the ‘captain’. And remember that you are only as strong as your team.

3. Be modest and humble: be ready to give away the credit when it is well earned. You will need to realize that learning to set the stage and follow the team is only a part of leading. A good leader is never boastful or has vanity. They put others before themselves. They are ‘servant-leaders’, unselfish & unbiased.

4. Set ‘SMART’ Goals: Learn to set goals not only in your professional life but for your personal life too. SMART is an acronym for:

Specific: have specific objectives / targets Measurable: a goal that can’t be measured can’t be achieved Achievable: set goals that are achievable yet challenging Realistic: goals should be realistic Time bound: goals should have a specific time line; this will give you a sense of focus.

5. Courage of Conviction: Some have courage (bravery); some have conviction. There are only a select few who have ‘courage of conviction’. Having ‘courage of conviction’ means that you don’t give in and that you stand by your beliefs, no matter what. Listen to your heart and do the right thing, always. Follow through and don’t give up. Every battle that is fought needs courage, every battle fought for winning needs courage of conviction. (You need courage to fight, to win you need courage of conviction.) Ships are not built to stay safely anchored in the harbor, it is built to weather every storm and emerge unscathed and ready for another voyage. Learn to weather every storm.

We hope you have enjoyed reading the first part on self-leadership. Remember that just knowing is not enough. We need to implement what we learn. Learning gives knowledge, implementing the learning gives wisdom.

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