"the practice of intentionally influencing your thinking, feeling and actions towards your objective/s".
(Bryant and Kazan 2012).
"Self-leadership is the practice of intentionally influencing your thinking, feeling and actions towards your objective/s" (Bryant and Kazan 2012, Self Leadership - How to Become a More Effective, and Efficient Leader from the Inside Out).
Charles Manz was the first to use the term 'Self-leadership' in 1983 and defined it as; “a comprehensive self-influence perspective that concerns leading oneself". Peter Drucker (2010) said that being a Self-leader is to serve as chief, captain, or CEO of one's own life. Brian Tracy talks about setting a goal and taking full responsibility for that goal.
Self-leadership (a.k.a Personal Mastery) is the answer to how do we develop ourselves to survive and thrive in a Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous world.
The concept of Self-leadership can be found in the writings of philosophers and poets, both Eastern and Western:
"Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power." - Lao Tzu
"I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul." - Henley
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What is Self Leadership?
Another Self-leadership definition 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." (Bryant, Kazan 2012).
All human beings are self-leaders; however, not all self-leaders are effective at self-leading (Manz, 1983). That is the bad news. The good news is that self-leaders can become better at leading themselves.
Self-leadership is about constantly developing the 'inner game' of Intention, Self-awareness, Self-confidence and Self-efficacy (self-belief) to achieve Personal Mastery.
- Intention (having a 'why') precedes any purposeful action (behavior). Actions have effects which the self-leader evaluates via feedback.
- Self-awareness is about knowing your intentions and values, as well as knowing what can ‘push your buttons’ and derail you.
- Self-confidence comes from knowing your strengths and abilities. As we take actions and develop skills, we become more confident.
- Self-efficacy is the belief that whatever comes our way, we can handle it. We can take the feedback, accept, adjust and advance. With self-efficacy we can be more creative and innovative.
When out inner game is good, our game becomes more efficient and effective through influence and impact.
- Influence is the the result of purposeful action. We must positively influence ourselves and the world around us if we are to make a change.
- Impact is how intention and influence is measured in the world.
A crucial component of leading oneself is how we view and deal with problems. We must accept responsibility for a problem before we can solve it. We cannot solve a problem by saying “It’s not my problem.” We cannot solve a problem by hoping someone else will solve it for us.
Self-leadership is the solution for developing leaders and leadership teams to COMMUNICATE, be CREATIVE, have CRITICAL THINKING and COLLABORATE.
Books on Self Leadership
Self Leadership - How to Become a More Successful, Efficient, and Effective Leader from the Inside Out by Andrew Bryant and Anna Kazan, Ph.D (McGraw Hill 2012) is a comprehensive text to understand, "What is Self-leadership?". it covers the theory and application of Self-leadership to individuals and teams. It is available on Amazon.
Self Leadership - 12 Powerful Mindsets & Methods to Win in Life & Business (2016) is a succinct guide to personal transformation and increased influence through Self-leadership. It is available on Amazon and a free soft-copy is available with Andrew Bryant's online coaching programs.
Andrew Bryant is the Pioneer of Self-Leadership & a Global Thought Leader on Creating Winning Cultures.
He has delivered keynotes on 5 continents in 20+ countries to 200,000+ executives on Self-Leadership, People and Culture for Sales Kick-offs, Product Launches, Team Alignment, Partner Meetings and Leadership Off-sites.