Self-Leadership – 7 of the Most Important Skills to Master

by anne preston on January 4, 2011

Personal Leadership GrowthSelf Leadership (the act of leading yourself ) has a lot to do with discovering what brings you most alive – and then aligning your life through your thoughts and actions to that aliveness.  Self-Leadership means mastering some of the most important skills of of personal leadership:

1. To Master the personal leadership skill of Responsibility. To take courageously take  responsibility for yourself, including your thoughts, speech as well as other observable behaviours. At the same time  not to over use that strength when it comes to taking responsibility for other responsible adults – have the courage to just lift them up and inspire them to lead themselves instead.

2. To master the self leadership skill of Focus. Focus means being very, very clear what you are saying yes to – and then maintaining focus on those yes’s.     Being very clear on your yes’s also means you are really clear on what should not get your attention ever again – and what should not get your attention right now.

3. To master the self leadership skill of Truth Telling. Truthfulness in personal leadership has a big connection to being authentic.  It is the authenticity that comes from being congruent with your thinking, your words, and your deeds.

4. To master the personal leadership skill of Emotional Flexibility.  To have emotional mastery is to have awareness of what you are feeling and to understand how to feel it fully – and/or shift your emotions to serve you.   Things like being able to call on more courage in times as needed or shift to a more resourceful emotional state at the drop of a hat – are personal leadership skills.

5. To master the self leadership skill of Allowing. When you allow more, you will experience more flow.  Allowing means dropping the practice of attempting to control.  Allowing means waiting for the clarity that is needed to take your next right step.

6. To master the self leadership skill of Personal Presence. Personal presence is a graceful glow that comes from being so true to yourself that you radiate authenticity.  Self  leadership self  confidence, self esteem, and ability to live  in the wonder of the moment are also skills of personal leadership.

7. To master the skill of Empathy: Being able to see and perceptually experience from another’s position.    Empathy is  rapport building and even emotionally bonding when  empathy is  given  and  received.

Some of the more common barriers to mastering the skills of personal leadership are:

  •  Getting caught up in life’s common boxes
  • Caring to the point of care-taking others and attempting to control (or be overly responsible for their actions)
  • Settling for ordinary or average.  You are neither of those , and you deserve  extraordinary
  • Desiring things to stay the same
  • Resisting feeling things – fully or completely
  • Deflecting, over generalizing, or stopping short
  • Exhaustion, apathy, loss of hopefulness

You can bring more self mastery in to your personal leadership skills. It’s very doable. Here are some ways to get there:

  • Expand your practice of being courageous
  • Do what  you promise at minimum. Over-deliver as a practice.
  • Narrow your focus, embracing your passions more and more
  • Expand  your  capacity for giving empathy
  • Raise your standards  ( a lot!)
  • Keep your self care at a high level
  • Work on expanding your self awareness

The best way to begin a  personal leadership development plan is to  just  start.  Start simply –  focus on  a few things  at a time.      Walking a  path of improved personal leadership  can be a very  enjoyable one if you approach it in a light  way.


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