The Importance of Self-Leadership


In this episode

Leadership coach Beth Wonson talks about recognizing what self-leadership is and its importance and impact for all of us.



I'm wondering, who are the leaders?

How do you think of yourself in terms of a leader? This came up for me because we have this private Facebook page and anybody can jump on. You can become a member of the community called Navigating Challenging Dialogue.

Recently one of our members posted a statement saying, "Hey, I love this and it isn't just for leaders." And that's so fascinating to me and it reminded me that we forget that we're all leading.

And this is why -- leadership is a role that, regardless of your title or your appointed role, it's a role every single one of us moves in and out of all day long. And if you are striving to become a whole, self-actualized and authentic human being, self-leadership is what you must be most mindful of.

What is Self-Leadership?

When I talk about self-leadership, what am I talking about? I'm talking about understanding my emotions, their impact on me and their impact on others. I'm talking about:

  • My willingness to look at myself first when I'm in a time of conflict, drama, or confusion.

  • Asking myself, what's my role or contribution in this versus trying to look at everybody else and assign blame or roles or contributions onto them.

  • Modeling the behaviors that I want to see in other people.

  • Speaking my truth with empathy, compassion, and a concern or focus on the good of the whole.

  • When I'm tempted to judge others, to turn the mirror back to myself and ask myself, “what about this judgment do I hold about me?”

  • Understanding my strengths, my talents, and my values, and then seeking to collaborate with people who hold those in areas that may not be my area of strength or interest.

  • The willingness to share my vulnerabilities without feeling shame or without trying to manipulate others.

So who are the leaders?

All of us, each and every moment. It doesn't matter if the followership you have is one person, i.e. yourself, or many — it doesn't matter. If your followers are patients you work with, your children, a confused elderly woman who's trying to order coffee at Starbucks, or a team of top notch professionals.

It doesn't matter.

Self-Leadership Has Many Forms

Self-leadership is how we show up with the overtired clerk at the department of motor vehicles or with the charismatic CEO of the company. Self-Leadership is the way you manage judgment of the mom in the restaurant who's watching her -- letting her kid watch a movie on her phone. Or any 8-year old, having a full-blown tantrum at the airport. Self-Leadership is being courageous and nerve to ask myself, I wonder what it is in me that's causing me to judge the other. Self-leadership is how you show up when you're alone in your car or when you're on a stage.

The true question is not, am I a leader?

The true question is, am I leading myself first?

Your Turn!

I want to hear from you. Let me know: In what ways are you leading yourself first?

Talk to you soon.


P.S. Ready to Level Up Your Self-Leadership Skills?

Check out the Navigating Challenging Dialogue® online courses today!


Watch, Listen & Read More

Join Our Community

Self-LeadershipBeth Wonson