A self-leader does everything that a leader should do, but for herself. She plans, motivates, listens, and cares for herself. She uses the S.A.M. framework to put her efforts into perspective by focussing on Skills, Attitude, and Mindfulness as the core of her self-leadership practice.
What comes to your mind when you think of leadership?
What do leaders really do? Whether you’re thinking about your favorite football club captain, a community leader, or Nelson Mandela, leaders across the board share certain characteristics and abilities.
Leaders coach, guide, plan, listen to others, and help their followers grow. They delegate, push, and pull, and take the long term view, as well as jump into action in the short term. They seem like super heroes who have no time for self-doubt or procrastination.
If that’s what marks a leader, what does a self-leader do?
A self-leader does everything that a leader does, but for one-self.
That’s it. If you wish to be a self-leader, you would need to do all that a leader does, for yourself. You will have to:
> Craft a vision for yourself
> Listen to yourself
> Facilitate your journey
> Motivate yourself
> Keep the big picture in mind
> Be driven by your purpose
> Show long-term commitment
When was the last time you clarified your purpose? Have you been taking time to reflect and refine your plans? How do you motivate yourself when everything seems to be falling apart?
Take some time to check-in with yourself, and reaffirm your commitment. Once you’re ready to take on the burden of self-leadership, read on.
S.A.M. a simple framework for self-leadership
Now that you’ve decided to be your own leader, it’s time to decide what you want to work on. I suggest looking at the following three avenues for growth:
Skills: the things you can do, like planning, listening, writing an article
Attitude: the energy you put into your action, like joy, curiosity, helpfulness
Mindfulness: the quality of your awareness, focus, perspective
S.A.M. gives a simple framework for self-evaluation and focussing your development journey. If there’s anything you can improve on one of these three topics, you’ll be well on your way as a self-leader. Let’s look at each of them in a bit more detail.
A leader listens, plans, facilitates, puts things into perspective, and works hard…
What skills do you want to develop? Which ones will help you take your work and life to the next level?
A leader is authentic, sincere, helpful, curious, joyful…
Have you mastered these attitudes? Is there one that stands out above others? How would you like people to describe your attitude? Pick one to work on!
A mindful leader is aware, caring, non-judgemental, and attentive…
How will you use mindfulness? Would you like to be more mindful, in order to reduce stress, or make better decisions, improve your attention span, or…?
Self-leadership is a unique journey and only you can decide what to focus on. There are no right and wrong answers, and the path will always be unpredictable.
While SAM will help you give focus to your self-leadership journey, only you can provide the over-arching purpose. It is that purpose that will keep you going and get you through the toughest of times.
I wish you all the joy and success in the world on this journey!
How do you lead yourself? Know anyone who fits this description? Share in the comments or talk to me on twitter ;)