Students that desire to be successful need to nurture their leadership potential. They must develop self-leadership skills.
We have an obsession with leadership. Just search Amazon for books on leadership and you’ll find nearly 180,000 individual books on the subject. Corporations spend billions of dollar annually training their current employees on leadership skills. Virtually every high school has a leadership program. Universities all have leadership courses and programs. Many of these courses and programs are required for graduation. This is a good thing because we know leadership is a skill that can be learned and is a cultivated art.
Corporate America is going out of its way to identify and hire individuals they believe already possess leadership strengths. A 2012 study found that American companies spend almost $14 billion annually on leadership development training. You can’t escape the importance of quality leadership.
Self-Leadership is the best first step a student can take in developing their leadership potential and style. It’s often the missing link in developing strong leadership skills. Students must learn to lead themselves before they will able to successfully lead others.
4 Steps To Master Self-Leadership
1) Self-Leadership is about self discipline. Long term success is related directly to your ability to be self disciplined. You need to be disciplined in your health, fitness, work ethic and relationships.
Self discipline means you’re less likely to indulge in behaviors that are harmful to your health, and you’re more likely to make positive decisions more easily. You don’t allow yourself to make choices impulsively or based solely upon your feelings, or limited experience.
Self discipline is about showing up on time, prepared and being fully present. A self disciplined leader is the first to arrive and the last to leave. You don’t ask people to do what you have not already done or are willing to do yourself. Lead by example.
2) Self-Leadership is about self awareness. Self awareness is having high moral standards, values and high quality character all of which are hallmarks of quality leadership. People pay more attention to a leader’s actions than their words.
Self awareness is about having identified your unique talents and invested in those talents to create your personal strength set. Along with individuals strengths a leader must identify their weakness and learn to manage to weaknesses.
3) Self-Leadership is about perseverance and grit. Life is not fair. Life will create difficult situations. As soon as you think you have it all figured out, something or someone new will come along and cause trouble. Change is inevitable. A leader must persevere in times of conflict and difficultly. You have to be tough on the inside and the outside. People will challenge your authority and you must be ready.
Perseverance and grit are about maintaining a focused attitude of success. Success is an action and happiness is an emotion. Successful people are happy people.
4) Self-Leadership is about self motivation. Too often we rely on others to motivate us or make us “happy.” As a leader you have to be the one motivating others. Therefore you have to be able to motivate yourself especially on the days you would just as soon stay at home and in the bed. Remember, people pay more attention to what you do rather than what you say. If you stay motivated your team stays motivated.
When you are self motivated you have a clear understanding of your goals and the goals of those you are leading. You focus on the solutions and outcomes not of the problems. Self motivation takes practice and is developed over time. Self motivation is a skill that can be learned and developed.
Students that learn Self-Leadership are going to place themselves among the most valuable leaders of their generation.