Leadership Starts with Self-Leadership

Hi meaningful leader,

Thanks again for stopping by. I hope that you week is going well and your weekend was fun! Mine was busy, catching up with my writing but very productive, and the week has treated me well so far

As we been discussing lately resilience and the growth mindset, I wanted to discuss with you the importance of self-leadership, as part of the development of our leadership core.

As we learned, having a growth mindset allows us to approach challenges with a learning eagerness, instead of with fear and self-doubt. And as leaders, one of our main focus has to be fostering and propelling the growth of our team. Yet, reality is that if we are not growing, we cannot properly support growth in others.

Before we can embark in the dually gratifying and demanding world of leading others, leadership has to be perceived first as an inside job. Only when we have conquered our own battles, we might be considered qualified to go into the world and guide and lead others into conquering their own.

Leadership requires that we develop the skills necessary to influence others, as well as to inspire them to take action; yet if we are sabotaging our own growth and limiting our own abilities, we are not able to do much of either. This is where the intentionality of self-leadership comes into play.

Let’s use the example of a ship to bring some light into this issue:

When the day-to-day responsibilities start to stack up and we feel we are constantly acting in fire fighting mode, what happens is that our ability to create the vision, strategy, and execution that will support the team’s performance are set in the back burner, and our role, starts to get blurry and we lose the essence of what we are called out to do as leaders. Especially after the pandemic, many teams are running short-handed and leaders are called to wear several hats. Yet, pausing and assessing what are we doing vs. what we are supposed to do is very important.

On a ship, the crew and the ship captain have different roles, which are all important, but each attends to the different parts of the processes needed to ensure the ship operations runs smoothly. For example, the role of the Seafares, can be described as follows: “Under the deck department of the ship, seafarers are responsible for the navigation of the vessel and handling cargo operations, among others.” Source: marine

On the other hand, their leader, “the Ship Captain/Chief Mate is a licensed mariner who has overall command and control of the navigation, maneuvering, cargo handling, stowage, communications and safe handling of the ship. He or she ensures that the ship complies with the local and international laws, as well as the port state and flag state policies. – Source:

If the Ship Captain were to focus on something different than his or her role, or if they will not continue developing their skills to perform it properly and efficiently, and instead were focusing on putting out fires, and covering the load of other roles, he or she will be doing the team a tremendous disservice, because their duties will be left unattended and the team will be left with a blind spot that can eventually become a liability.

Therefore, for leaders who want to have a meaningful, long-lasting impact on their teams, developing skills like self-control, discipline, accountability, empathy, self-respect, and communication is paramount.

Our continuous growth, will support our efforts to support the growth of our people, these two, are intrinsically linked. This is not solely linked to the marketplace, but it applies to our family and friends as well. And growth my friend, has to be intentional, it doesn’t happen by accident. It takes planning, it takes time, and it take consistency, it takes sacrifice, but the results will be worth it!

I hope this adds some value to your week. If so, please subscribe to this website and please share with others…remember that sharing is caring and it also helps me to spread the word on meaningful leadership. After all, as iron sharpens iron, one leader, sharpens another. So let’s keep growing together.

Have an awesome rest of your day and God bless.

Till next week!



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