How Do You Manage and Lead Yourself?


Manage and Lead YourselfIn his article “Be a Better Leader, Have a Richer Life” (Harvard Business Review, April 2008), Stewart Friedman discusses the importance of pursuing excellence as a leader and transferring the skills of leadership to all areas of your life—work, home, community and self.

After all, if we focus only on the skills of leading and managing others, we miss a very big part of the equation. Being an effective self-manager and self-leader is critical to personal effectiveness and success; and leads to greater personal satisfaction. It’s also integral to building credibility and trust in those you work with and lead.

Are you a good self-manager?

If management is about setting goals, managing tasks, managing performance and allocating resources, it is logical to apply these functions to yourself.

Ask yourself these questions, and see how many you can say yes to (honestly):

  • I set goals for every aspect of my life and what gives me purpose in each of these areas, e.g. with regards to my partner, my parents, and my community. I create action plans and schedule tasks into my daily to-do list
  • I prioritise daily. I ask myself, ‘What is the best use of my time right now? How does it relate to my goals and purpose?’ This includes the tasks and activities I spend time on as well the people I give my energy and attention to
  • I am disciplined about distractions—technology, e-mails, behaviours, people, tasks and conversations that don’t add value. I beat procrastination by being mindful and identifying the causes
  • I regularly review and measure how I am tracking in relation to my goals and make adjustments accordingly
  • I behave in ways that benefit my physical health and increase my physical energy. I eat well and get regular exercise and plenty of rest and sleep
  • I understand that multi-tasking is inefficient and ineffective. I do one thing at a time and give it my full attention and best effort

Are you a good self-leader?

Leadership is about being a positive influence on others, about being aware of their strengths and development needs in order to empower and develop them as well as inspire them through trust and credibility. This idea of leadership also applies to how we lead and influence ourselves.

Ask yourself these questions, and see how many you can say yes to (honestly):

  • I know who I am. I know my values, my strengths and my thinking preferences. I am aware of how I interact with others, how I work and learn and how I make decisions. I know my challenges and my blind spots. I work on improving my strengths, challenges and blind spots through self-development and learning
  • I accept others as individuals with their own values, strengths and thinking preferences. I strive to build enduring relationships by appreciating differences and taking responsibility for how I communicate and engage with others
  • My internal self-talk is positive. I frame my experiences so that I can learn from them. I empower and encourage myself and accept my imperfections. I regularly express appreciation to others
  • I ensure I am fully present and authentic in every interaction and conversation I engage in
  • I participate in activities for my personal enjoyment and fulfilment. I allow myself to play, imagine and create. I contribute to others and give my time in the service of others
  • I live according to my values. I care for my mental, physical, emotional and spiritual well-being

Self-leadership and self-management are recognised as critical skills in organisations. This is reflected in the introduction of many self-leadership development programs, which also incorporate the strategies of managing wellness.

The most effective programs take a holistic approach to these topics, incorporating opportunities for people to apply the skills and knowledge to their work and outside of their work lives.

You can find out more about Stewart Friedman’s book – Total Leadership below

Ancora Learning Facilitator - Agapi


Contributor – Agapi, Ancora Learning Specialist Facilitator

Agapi is an engaging and vibrant facilitator with over 20 years experience in the corporate sector.  Her experience in designing and delivering leadership and management programs ranges from courses for Frontline Supervisors to residential management programs for Senior Leaders.


For more information on our Leadership & Management Training

Call 1300 ANCORA (262672)


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