16 February 2024

Lead yourself before you lead others

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Making a list of strengths and weaknesses

Mastering self-leadership paves the way for insightful and progressive leadership of others. Photo: File.

Michelle Gibbings says leaders who are not aware of their own strengths (and weaknesses) will never effectively meet the challenge of guiding others.

How can you inspire, support and guide others if you don’t understand your own motivations, personality, and mental models?

From my experience, both as a leader and in the work I do now, I’ve seen that the best leaders are interested in and curious about who they are and how they show up. They are willing to challenge the assumptions and expectations they hold.

Mastering self-leadership paves the way for insightful and progressive leadership of others. So before setting out to guide others, master these three elements to lead yourself.

Know yourself — inside and out: Start by understanding your strengths, weaknesses, values, and goals. Uncover your motivations, personality and potential faults that could derail your leadership.

Consider the gaps between how you think you lead and how people experience your leadership. Be specific on the type of leader you are and the type of leader you want to be. From there, you are better placed to build the plan and take the steps to be the leader you can be.

Embrace self-care: Leadership begins with a healthy foundation. Regularly assess your wellbeing – physical, mental, and emotional.

Ensure adequate sleep, balanced nutrition, and time for activities that recharge your batteries. A well-nurtured self is better equipped to handle challenges and guide others effectively.

Never stop learning: Leadership is an evolving skill, and we never stop learning about ourselves.

Stay curious. Fall in love with learning. Embrace new perspectives, skills, and technologies. The more you grow, the better positioned you are to lead by example, inspiring others to invest in their own development.

So, where do you need to focus first?

* Michelle Gibbings is a Melbourne-based change leadership and career expert and founder of Change Meridian. She works with global leaders and teams to help them get fit for the future of work. She can be contacted at [email protected]. This article first appeared at https://www.changemeridian.com.au/latest-news/.

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