One of the most important things I have learned over the years about leadership is that in order to become a better leader of others, you must first learn to lead yourself well. A favorite quote of mine that captures this is from Bill Hybels, who often says, “Everyone wins when a leader gets better.” Succinct and to the point, but so accurate. When a leader gets better, people, teams, and organizations get better too. And that is what leadership is all about.
Although I firmly believe this, I often struggle with the concept of personal leadership because it seems selfish. It feels like I’m too focused on myself and neglecting the needs of others. But then I just have to stop and ask myself one question, “What are the motives of my heart?”.
In other words, am I bettering myself just so I can look good and gain the praise of others, or am I bettering myself so I can be a stronger and more effective leader for my team and the people I lead? As long as it’s the latter, then I know my focus is where it needs to be.
Remember, leadership is not about you, but it starts with you. If you want to lead others well, start leading yourself well.
Watch this short video to learn more about the importance of self-leadership: