Personal Leadership: Leading self before leading others

Personal leadership is to apply the principles of leadership that make a business a success … to yourself.

It is so critical that the renowned management guru, Peter Drucker once called it “the only leadership that’s going to matter in the 21st century.” The current VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex & ambiguous) environment amplifies the need to exhibit personal leadership because how one behaves is the one variable that is still firmly within one’s control. Personal leadership is about not being on “Auto-Pilot”. It is about consistently improving oneself.

One powerful question that helps a person achieve this is “How do I need to be, think and act in order to be my best?”

 While they are many levers that help in personal leadership, the following are prominent:

1.    Self-awareness: A leader exhibiting personal leadership is aware of his/her strengths & weaknesses, motivators & de-motivators, values & attitudes, communication, decision making & conflict styles etc. And he/she uses this self-awareness in order to polish own potential.

2.    Vision & Goals: Just like in business, in life also you need a long-term vision broken down into medium and short-term goals. A self-aware leader uses their self- awareness to create a vision and goals that are consistent with their values and beliefs etc.

3.    Execution: Execution is where many goals die a slow death. Personal leaders not only know what they need to execute but also take daily deliberate action towards their goals. They use the self-awareness to create systems to ensure they stick to the course.

 The key question we need to ask daily is: “Am I succeeding in leading myself?” And if the answer is, “Not really!”, ask for help.