Excerpts on Self-leadership

For work I am reading a book called “The 360 Degree Leader“. This morning I read the chapter: “Lead-Up Principle #1 – Lead Yourself Exceptionally Well”. There are several quotes that really hit me and I thought I’d share:

“Lead yourself. That’s where it all starts. Besides, if you wouldn’t follow yourself, why should anyone else.” p. 84

We often think that self-leadership is about making good decisions every day, when the reality is that we need to make a few critical decisions in major areas of life and then manage those decisions day to day.” p. 85

Nothing will make a better impression on your leader than your ability to manage yourself. If your leader must continually expend energy managing you, then you will be perceived as someone who drains time and energy. p. 86

Good leaders know when to display emotions and when to delay them….Whether you delay or display your emotions should not be for your own gratification. You should ask yourself, What does the team need? not, What will make me feel better? pp. 86-87

Since you are not the top leader, you don’t have control over your list of responsibilities or your schedule. You should still try to get yourself to the point where you can manage your priorities and focus your time in this way:

  • 80 percent of the time – work where you are strongest
  • 15 percent of the time – work where you are learning
  • 5 percent of the time – work in other necessary areas

p. 88

You must be ruthless in your judgment of what you should not do. Just because you like doing something doesn’t mean it should stay on your to-do list. If it is a strength, do it. If it helps you grow, do it. If your leader says you must handle it personally, do it. Anything else is a candidate for your “stop doing” list. p. 89

When I look at my calendar every morning, I ask myself, What is the main event? That is the one thing to which I cannot afford to give anything less than my best. That one thing can be for my family, my employees, a friend, my publisher, the sponsor of a speaking engagement, or my writing time. I always make sure I have the energy to do it with focus and excellence. p. 90

The greatest enemy of good thinking is busyness….If you find that the pace of life is too demanding for you to stop and think during your workday, then get into the habit of jotting down the three or four things that need good mental processing or planning that you can’t stop to think about….And know this: 1 minute > 1 hour. A minute of thinking is often more valuable than an hour of talk or unplanned work. pp. 90-91

If I blow managing myself at home, then the negative impact will spill over into every area of my life, including work. If you want to lead up, you must always lead yourself first. If you can’t, you have no credibility. p. 93


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