The Resurgence of Self Leadership
Over the past couple of decades we have seen ‘leadership’ becoming a positional milestone loosely connected to a set of ‘soft skills’. This has created many challenges for individuals and organisations alike including bullying, low engagement, conflict, chronic stress and talent turnover.
Leadership may be a noun but it is best expressed as a verb. It is my belief that leadership needs to be reinstated as a character trait that is utilised to empower people to bring out their best in this ever changing world. This mindset shift allows for an environment where everyone is seen as a leader, no matter the position they hold in the team.
To understand this further, let’s have a quick look at 3 dimensions of leadership.
Social Leadership is the pinnacle where leaders have followers because of their ability to bring people together, facilitate collaboration and coach people to move toward common goals. A social leader develops the whole – the organisation – without any hidden agenda of personal interest. The social leader must also be very credible, which means having a high degree of authenticity. They must also have exceptional relational capabilities for dealing with the complexity of processes of change in our volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous environment. Social leaders have high levels of personal power and self worth, because very often they are not recognised. They create low conflict environments so, unlike other kinds of leaders, social leaders are hardly recognised at all. Their focus is on producing results without stressing everyone out, and they measure success based on that. They have high social and emotional intelligence.
Systems Leadership is an approach leadership that focuses on the management of a process rather than on the leadership of the people. The goal of this approach is to create and administer specific processes and procedures to be used in task completion. Systems leaders usually have a high level of technical skill and the results they have produced by using these skills is often the reason they are promoted. This creates uncertainty and self doubt in many leaders and the people that are in their charge seldom flourish.
Self Leadership is all about leading yourself, a prerequisite to leading others, by developing a strong sense of who you are and why you do what you do. Self Leadership focuses on self-awareness, self-management, self-care, self-confidence and self-motivation. When you develop your self leadership capabilities, you understand the importance of optimal brain and body performance and embrace the teachings of mindfulness, meditation, sleep hygiene and healthy living.
To be an effective Systems Leader and Social Leader you must first develop your Self Leadership capabilities.
Most leadership training and coaching programs today focus on teaching you how to lead your team, neglecting this crucial precursor of leading yourself. They embrace techniques and strategies, with fancy vocabulary and buzz words, but sadly miss the mark of bringing out the character traits that empower leaders at any level to be effective.
It is my opinion that we need a resurgence of Self Leadership programs and methodologies so we can build the very core of leadership, the leader themselves. We need to focus more on the how to and not simply the what. This needs to include the most up to date findings in neuroscience and psychology, bringing them to life by putting it into simple terms and practical application tips and strategies.
The i4 Neuroleader program does just that. It is a 21st century personal leadership development program that develops you as a leader from the inside out, giving you a holistic approach to becoming who you need to be to effectively lead yourself and others in this fast paced, technologically advanced, VUCA world.
Contact me today to help you with your Self Leadership capabilities and be a part of the resurgence.