Self-leadership definition: The practice of intentionally influencing your thinking, feeling and behaviors to achieve your objective/s (Bryant & Kazan 2012).
An expanded Self-leadership definition is:
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 behaviors on the way to getting there.
For a better understanding of the question, ‘What is Self-leadership’ we recommend the book “Self Leadership – How to be a more Successful, Efficient and Effective Leader from the Inside Out”, or you can read a summary here.
Self-leaders have a drive for autonomy, can make decisions, are more creative and persist, even in the face of adversity.
Some of the intentional behaviors that characterize Self-leadership are; self-awareness, self-goal setting, self-motivation, positive self-talk, assertive communication and the ability to receive and act on feedback.
Self-leaders utilize strategies or rituals, to align their intentions and actions to achieve success. Some of these strategies include:
- Reflecting on intention to achieve focus
- Clarifying what they are responsible ‘for’ and what we are accountable to?
- Becoming the author of the inner narrative to tell an empowering story
- Confidently taking action and seeking feedback
- Communicating authentically to achieve win/win
- Being mindful and managing emotions
- Influencing through understanding the intentions of others
Here’s a quick video which explains self-leadership in simple terms:
Becoming a Self-leader and maintaining Self-leadership is a self-development activity; but organizations that encourage Self-leadership reap the benefit.
This diagram shows the importance of Self-leadership at different levels of the organization:
Self-leadership should be the foundation of any organizational development program. To skip the Self-leadership piece is to leave out a significant part of the puzzle of developing a learning organization.
Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power.” Lao Tzu