Becky S. Corbett, MSW, ACSW & Emily Tevault, MBA
As a leader, the first person I need to lead is me. John C. Maxwell, Leadership Author and Speaker
Leadership begins with leading yourself: personally and professionally. How do you lead YOU? Consider all of the roles in your life as a leader: employee, employer, supervisor, parent, sibling, child, volunteer. Leaders model themselves first, and then others. Turn the mirror toward yourself and take ownership…leading starts with you. Below are BSC’s principles of Leading ME.
Own Your Intentional Growth
If you allow growth to happen to you, someone else will determine how and in what ways you will grow. Grow with purpose and own your intentional growth. Lead yourself by using a framework to make intentional decisions and move them to action, such as the Producktivity® Principles. Identify your options; Connect them with your values, vision and resources, and Organize how you spend your time and prioritize where you focus your attention and energy. Develop your strengths and maximize your potential. You are worth the investment.
Build Your Brand
Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room. Anytime you enter a room, you walk in as yourself first, and then as your affiliation: organization, school, family. Identify your brand: What do you want people to say about you? Look in the mirror and ask yourself, “How do others see me?”
Choose a Positive Attitude
Attitude is a combination of your thoughts, feelings and actions. Your attitude is the primary cause of the results you achieve, which makes having a positive outlook a powerful tool to leading yourself. Attitude is a choice and it determines how far you can go on your growth journey. You have thousands of thoughts per day; are they primarily positive or negative? How do you speak to yourself? Do you say, “I can’t” or “I can;” “If” or “I will;” or “I’m afraid” or “I am confident.”
To reach your full potential, dream. Then, dream bigger. It starts with a dream. By dreaming big, it helps you articulate your why, create a vision, state your purpose and communicate your passion. Dreams provide you with the focus and motivate you to move to action. Make the commitment to dream.
To be a leader, you need followers, and to create followers, you have to build relationships. Good people connect with good people. Become a stronger you by creating a personal and professional support system. Building an internal network helps you grow as a leader and allows you to invest in others. Your inner circle includes people from all facets of your life: a mentor, coach, family member, friend, professor, colleague, spiritual advisor.
Give Coachable Moments
A “Coachable Moment” is taking advantage of a moment in time to give an individual immediate and specific feedback. Are you asking for coachable moments from your colleagues, friends/family, mentors? Are you prepared to receive, reflect on, and take action when they are provided? Integrate coaching into your life by asking for, receiving and providing coachable moments to others.
Make Time for Self-Reflection
Taking time to reflect allows you to pause and learn from your experiences. You can generate new ideas, transition, make intentional decisions and grow with purpose. Use the mirror for self-reflection. Identify the best place for you to reflect and ask yourself, “What do I want to accomplish today?” “How did my day go?” “What will I do tomorrow to be a better me?”
Take Care of ME
Lead yourself by living self-care starts with ME. Mind, body and spirit are all connected and require consistent care and attention to be at your best. Discover what self-care techniques support you taking care of yourself: yoga, listening to music, going for a massage, watching a movie, laughing with friends. Ask yourself “What helps me to recharge?” “What helps me to increase my energy?”
A gracious thank you goes a long way. Expressing gratitude is a way to give back a kindness that has been provided to you and takes you out of yourself so you can give to others. It lets people know you care for and appreciate them. Ask yourself “Do I want my brand to be that I express my appreciation to others?” “How will I help add value to others today?”
Hold Yourself Accountable
Be accountable to yourself for your growth, goals, self-care, brand, attitude. Be accountable to others for your actions and communications. You build credibility when you deliver to others and do what you say you will do. Own and take ownership for your mistakes, express what you learn and keep growing.
Leading ME allows you to be genuine in how you lead others. It will strengthen your leadership in your personal and professional life. What is one way you are going to commit to Leading ME? Share your thoughts and experiences, join the conversation below.
Look in the mirror and reflect, “Am I leading ME?”
Becky S. Corbett, MSW, ACSW
Resources: My Reflection Journal Template – BSCorbett Consulting Free Resource The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John C. Maxwell Suggested Leadership Authors: Ken Blanchard, Brene Brown, Dale Carneige, Jim Collins, Stephen R. Covey, Peter Drucker, Spencer Johnson, John C. Maxwell, Sheryl Sandberg, Zig Ziglar