In all the discourse about leadership, one sentence rings true;

‘You can’t lead others unless you first lead yourself.’

One vital leadership skill is being able to make swift AND sound decisions. To do this well requires a high level of self awareness and trust, plus a subtle yet deep influence on other people. Leaders also need to be confident, dedicated, determined, proactive and at times single minded.

Problems arise when leaders and managers lack self-awareness, self-control and self-management skills. These are essential parts of a personal and professional development journey and come under the umbrella of emotional intelligence.

Yet it seems that many people don’t do this work, which is why poor leaders abound in the world. We’ve all got a story of at least one boss who was really difficult or impossible to work for.

Few people are natural born leaders, for most it’s something they need to learn. Many find themselves in management and leadership positions because they’re good at what they do  but they don’t have the skills or emotional intelligence to lead others effectively. What’s more they’re given little or no training and support to improve their leadership skills.

Then we have the high profile leaders who’ve reached the top using dysfunctional personality traits, ruthless measures and money, even ruining lives. 

Narcissists and sociopaths aside, poor leaders lead reactively primarily from emotion and they’re not aware they’re doing so. Unresolved trauma and a lack of self-awareness means triggers aren’t managed. Reactionary leaders can create toxic environments and perpetuate a cycle of dysfunction within organisations.

The concept of self-leadership stands as a cornerstone for personal growth and societal progress. It ALL starts with us. We need to clean up our internal world, our own home and what’s going on on our doorstep first before we can really make a positive contribution to society more widely.

Leadership comes in many forms, from political, religious, business and thought leaders to teachers, community workers, mentors, parents and such.

Think about your life, where do you lead? What example are you setting for others? How do you treat those around you? We observe and learn from those ahead of us, be that at work, in the community, in books we read, our educators, mentors, or peers. Therefore you can be certain others look to you for leadership.

What is self-leadership?

At its core, self-leadership embodies our capacity to navigate the volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous world we inhabit. It’s a deliberate and conscious practice of influencing our thoughts, emotions, and actions for ourselves, others and our objectives and goals. It’s developing the inner game, our mindset and the outer game, our actions. They influence each other as we move towards our goals.

Self-leadership begins with introspection and developing self awareness through observing and questioning everything about ourselves. It’s also taking personal responsibility and having self-compassion. Self leadership compels us to honestly address our weaknesses and shortcomings, acknowledge our strengths and nurture resilience and determination.

We can learn much about self leadership from sport. Many athletes and sports people are able to describe the leadership skills they gained from sport. The determination, focus, visualisation, self-discipline, teamwork, trust and the ability to deal with adversity and conflict, think strategically and pivot when necessary are all skills transferable into everyday life and the workplace.  

If you’ve ever trained for a marathon or decathlon or such like, you’ll know what it takes to complete such an endeavour. The race itself is a small part of the journey. The daily training, pushing yourself to get up and to keep going when you don’t want to as well as resting sufficiently are the important bits. Without all of that together, you’ll not succeed.

It shows us what it means to be committed and stay focused on goals – all skills that are all important in business and leadership.

How to develop self-leadership?

This is where NLP comes in. NLP shines a light on what goes on underneath, in our unconscious mind. It helps us be able to pinpoint what’s not working and where exactly and then change it precisely. It changes our thoughts, behaviours and our strategies to help us achieve our desired outcomes and live a successful life, however you define that.

Initially, we pick up our thoughts and behaviours from our caregivers, then our peers, educators and society. We keep hold of them as if we created them and they form our internal ‘map’ of the world. Using NLP we can detect and change any limitations with precision and create a ‘map’ that’s more resourceful.

We do these using NLP thinking and processes that work on your mind. With a Swish Pattern we can replace unwanted behaviours with desired ones. Using Reframing we can turn a negative situation into something more positive and effect a change in the mind map. Anchoring helps us access more resourceful states whenever we need to.

And Time Line Therapy® / Create Your Future Coaching® eliminates unwanted old emotions and limiting beliefs, develops empowered thinking and compelling goals that firmly put you in charge of yourself.

I’ve seen clients turn their lives around with NLP. They become more emotionally resilient, productive and successful and have a more positive, resourceful way of being. In taking personal responsibility they learn to lead themselves.

Self-leadership is a commitment to continual growth and ongoing self-awareness. We all have the capacity and inner strength to succeed individually and together and create a more empowered future for us all.

To discover more about your options for learning NLP, please get in touch here for a chat.

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