9 Questions to Help You in Leading Yourself

Recently we gathered all of our team leaders here in Italy for a development time. Our overall topic was “Leading Self”.  I believe this is a huge area that often goes ignored by most leaders.  We used some categories that we borrowed from Reggie McNeal’s book Practicing Greatness.  McNeal talks about three critical areas for leading self:  self awareness, self management and self development. On the last day of our gathering I offered up an application exercise to help our leaders make tangible progress on these three areas-and thus move towards becoming more effective leaders.  Here are the thought questions for each category for your consideration.

Self Awareness

What specific steps will you take to become more self-aware?  How will you gain this information?  Specifically, whom will you go to that will be honest in providing you with good feedback?

From your current understanding of yourself, what would be three potential areas that you might consider and seek to validate?

Self Management

Based on what you know today, which specific area of self-management do you need to give the most attention to? (your feelings, your expectations, your physical and mental health, your money, your emotional intelligence, your temptations)

What specific steps will you take to make progress? (Write them down with specific goals attached to each step)

Self Development

Based on what you know today, what are some of your key strengths?  How will you validate those thoughts?

Choose one of your strengths.  How will you specifically develop this strength over the next 12 months?

How can you better lead out of your strengths in your current setting?

We have to pay attention to ourselves to be better leaders.  This exercise is only meant to get you started-but don’t wait, begin!

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  2. This is entirely consistent with the tenets of Servant Leadership. As is commonly known, John Greenleaf believed that to lead one must first learn to follow. Actually there is a very thin line between the two and in fact, the best leaders often follow . . .It only took me 30 years to figure this out!

    In order to know the difference, it is critical to be self aware, to self manage and to “develop,” actually what I would call the inner leadership/follow “soul.” And further, it is very possible that these three aspects are strongly interrelated. In order to self “manage,” one has to be self aware and to continue to develop as a servant leader, you have to be both self aware and be willing to “self manage.” Questions posed here are the key ones to explore the interrelationship among these three aspects.

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