The first and best victory is to conquer self. (Plato)

Do you qualify to lead others?

If we wish to lead others we first need to learn how to lead ourselves. If we cannot lead ourselves how could we possibly expect to influence others to follow us?

It’s why Jim Rohn endorsed the importance of personal mastery in saying that ‘one needs to work harder on themselves than on the job.’

The most difficult person to lead is yourself. Typically we would like things to be done our way. It’s futile trying to change others, yet how often do we attempt this. Or assume that we think alike, ‘see’ the same things or share similar motivation and commitment towards team assignments?

For the most rapid and reliable results work on yourself first, and beware of a tendency to avoid the discomfort arising from heightening self-awareness while probing your inner-self. When in doubt ask others, actually ask them anyway, good leaders do as they appreciate honest feedback.

We gain confidence and will display consistency in our decision-making when we are clear about our leadership philosophy, our values, principles and beliefs, as we will draw on them for guidance.

Working on ourselves is continuous, it can be tough and uncomfortable, but it’s worth it. We wouldn’t want others to emulate modelling which is less than our best and devoid of enhancement.

Some of the wisest advice I have received is to try and keep an open mind. There may be another way and it could be a better way, as what you learnt and knew yesterday could be different to what is required of you today. This is particularly difficult for ‘experts’ – do you consider yourself one?

Proverbs 18:15 – the intelligent man is always open to new ideas, in fact he looks for them.

A sage reminder would be to remember that it’s what you learn after you know it all that counts!

I am the author of Leading Self and Others (how to make a difference where you are with what you’ve got) and Teaming with ideas (life lessons on teams – from business, sport and parkrun). You can contact me here.