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How To Lead Yourself: The Art Of Self-Leadership

We have all been going through an unprecedented season of life. Covid-19 has changed the landscape in every way conceivable. From disrupting schedules and changing our education, closing businesses, and confining us to our homes, life has drastically changed. For the first time, many of us are finding that we are working independently, without our bosses hovering over us. We are finding that we need to instead, lead ourselves.

Charles Manz was the first to use the term “self-leadership” in 1983. Manz defined it as “a comprehensive self-influence perspective that concerns leading oneself.” He believed that self-leadership was a crucial component of achieving high performance on a job, or even in life.

Humans are born to be self-leaders, but that doesn’t mean that we’ve learned how to effectively lead ourselves.

HoW Does one become an effective leader?

Mastering the skill of self-leadership is really about mastering your mind. The way you view yourself, the world and obstacles in your path, really matters. There are 3 key pieces that we need to develop.


Self-awareness comes from knowing yourself deeply. This means you might have to take a few conscious moments to think about your personal intentions and values, as well as recognizing what riles you up and has the potential to derail you from your goals. Self-awareness comes from knowing your strengths and abilities, along with your weaknesses.


Understanding your intention is important. Also referred to as having a “why”. Why are setting out on this particular path. Why is it important? It’s helpful to understand that your intention shouldn’t be something easily tangible like “I want to lose 10 pounds.” I’ve heard it described as “a good why should be powerful enough to bring you to your knees.” For example, which is more likely to push you to wake up at 6am to workout, a why like “I want to lose 10 pounds” or a why like “it’s important for me to get healthier because I don’t want to suffer from a preventable disease and miss out on quality time with the people I love?”


Also referred to as having a “belief in yourself,” honing this skill allows you take whatever comes your way and to simply figure it out. It’s a belief that you can take the feedback you receive, accept that it is true, adjust your actions, and then advance accordingly. This is important because when you are leading yourself, your success depends on how you view and reach to problems. If you hope to lead yourself effectively, you can’t solve a problem by hoping someone else will solve it for you.