I always sign off my podcast by saying, “Leadership is not about you, but it starts with you.” I do this because I believe it, and I need to constantly remind myself of this reality. Leadership is about serving others above all else, but if I want to do that well, I need to focus on leading myself well first. I need to work on my heart, mind, soul, habits, body, and so much more in order to be at my best for others.
Most leaders that I know want to lead well. They want to build a cohesive team, cultivate a healthy culture, cast a compelling vision, develop a clear strategy, and execute their plan. These are all great things, and they are essential to effective leadership.
But if you want to excel in these areas, you need to work on yourself. You need to commit to daily personal development. And you might agree with this premise, but you’re not sure what that looks like. Well, start taking an inventory of our time and evaluate what you are doing each day to invest in yourself. Then from there, start building in some new habits.
Here are some ideas to help:
- Listen to a podcast instead of the radio.
- Download Hoopla and listen to free books through your local library.
- Find a leadership book and read a few pages per day. I have a list of recommendations to help you.
- Meet weekly with a friend or mentor and ask them for feedback on areas where you can grow as a leader.
- Take time to reflect each day and journal your thoughts. What’s going well? What’s not? What is frustrating you? Process your thoughts and develop an action plan.
- Subscribe to a leadership newsletter and read it each week.
- Attend a leadership conference or workshop. Invest in yourself.
These are just a few ideas. But it’s a place for you to start with your development as a leader. It’s not selfish to focus on developing yourself. It is necessary if you want to lead well.
Take time today to start focusing on your own development and you will reap the benefits through the increased influence you will have through the people you lead.
Leadership is not about you, but it starts with you!