Self-leadership is the ability to lead yourself towards productivity and achieving set goals. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a business or consider yourself a leader. It can apply to any area of your life, be it relationships or marriage. Self-leadership is about becoming the best version of yourself. It’s the best form of leadership and is foundational in becoming
the ‘change that I want to see’. It’s my belief that anyone is capable of being a leader and the principles I am going to share can be passed on to your team at work or family members. In this discussion however, I intend to focus on self-leadership as it relates to
career and business.
Self-leadership says, ‘I am going to change and stay ahead of, or with the trend, in order to gain and maintain a comparative advantage’.
Past success or failure can have the same effect on your future if you rest on your laurels. Will your qualification or business model be relevant in the next ten years? Embrace change or be left behind like Kodak and Nokia were. You have to reinvent yourself! As an author I’ve had to innovate. The traditional brick and mortar bookshop may not be around for too long. Therefore, I’ve ensured that I release my books on a range of online platforms like amazon.com, lulu.com and smashwords.com. There are many tools that we can exploit, and it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.
Maybe you run your own business or provide a service, e.g., manufacturing. Do you have online presence? Due to the ongoing lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, our lives have nearly completely moved online – even going to church and schooling.
Who would have thought that post offices would not be so essential and in some countries, banking would be done without going to the bank? It’s rapidly become the new normal. Make it work for you!
Remember the demise of the video club which was replaced by Showmax* and Netflix? The truth is many jobs have been lost to technology and they’re not coming back. Many doors are closing and new opportunities are arising. What are you going to do to exploit emergent opportunities? It will take self-leadership to be correctly positioned and here’s
how you can do it.
1. Discover Yourself
Self-discovery starts with an honest self-evaluation and audit. It’s about knowing who you really are, what you believe in and what makes you tick. It’s not about who you pretend to be but who you are at your core. I discovered that I have a desire to inspire others through writing and speaking when I did this exercise for myself. I also discovered that whilst
my background was marketing, I was passionate about developing and inspiring others to reach their potential. Maybe you’re limiting who you are to what you do. You are not what you do, you can be more and do more.
2. Accept Yourself
Accepting yourself has to do with an honest appraisal of your strengths and weaknesses, what you do very well and what you cannot do. It’s about acknowledging where you really are on the road to progress without becoming despondent. The good thing about this is that you will know where you need help. Perfection is over-rated. Henry Ford acknowledged that he needed help in moving his vision of manufacturing the automobile forward, so he surrounded himself with the people that could help him with what he could not do for himself.
3. Manage Yourself
With the demands of life in general and the need to achieve your goals, self-management is very critical. You cannot be effective without deploying your efforts, resources and time to your top priorities. Most executives are burnt-out because they are taking care of everything else except themselves. When you manage yourself well you will do well. Self-management is one of the most challenging requirements of self-leadership because it takes balance and discipline. There will always be one more thing to do. Take time to replenish and recharge your energy. Rest and recovery is just as important as the work
that needs to be done.
4. Develop Yourself
The greatest asset you have is you. What skills are you going to attain to remain relevant? Personal development does not happen by itself. Physical growth is an inevitability; personal growth takes decisive action. If you are not growing, then you cannot achieve greatness. What is your strategy? It’s now easy to become self-taught, thanks to free online courses of which there are a lot on offer. Ivy League universities such as Harvard have resources on their websites which you can easily access. With YouTube, you can learn virtually anything, anytime, anywhere by spending as little as 30 minutes per day on tutorials. You can read at least one book in a month. It’s time to grow!
Self-leadership is about developing you. It all starts with being unhappy with the way things are. If you’re content, then you may not need to make any changes. If you don’t like what’s happening or the results you’re getting you can always change; it starts with a
decision to be someone you have never been before. Start where you are right now. Change is necessary because as Albert Einstein said, ‘We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them’. Do not wait for next year or some other right time. The time to make the change is now.
*online video subscription service in South Africa
Fitzgerald Mujuru is a professional speaker, facilitator and a marketing and business consultant. He is also the author of Winning Ways – Precept Upon Precept and other book titles and has published more than 200 articles online.