Leaders, Followers, Influencers

Following the leader, the leader, the leader
We’re following the leader
Wherever he may go

Bobby Driscoll, Paul Collins

Children playing after school
Children Playing

Who are the leaders, followers, and influencers of today?

Who do you look to as a leader? We have leaders in many areas: politics, sports, religion, business, media, entertainment, and social media influencers. There are many other places where leaders are present and influence our lives. Sometimes we are happy to follow the leader – remember playing that game as a child? Other times we follow the leader because it is our job, and we are expected to do as the leader directs, or we feel we don’t have a choice because the leader is thrust upon us. We do what our teachers, parents, and coaches tell us to do.

The other categories I have identified have the same requirements. I wonder though if those we admire and emulate are leaders or just famous people due to the media. Ahh – the media. TV, newspapers (yes, they still exist), and social media all present their own interpretation of events. In giving us their interpretation, we are left to figure out the facts on our own.

Our current political leaders leave me questioning their leadership abilities. I might have a different perception of leadership. If you have read a bit from me, you might already know that respect, humility, kindness, truthfulness, integrity, love, compassion, and being non-judgmental are some of the qualities I believe a leader must have. However, if we examine our world leaders, I’m afraid many will fall short in these areas.

Are entertainers, athletes, religious, business, and social influencers leaders, or just celebrities? Are they setting good examples of human beings that we would like to see our children follow? Or that we would aspire to be?

Not all leaders are good leaders.

Not all leaders are good people. How do you choose who to follow? We can look at current world leaders – what are your thoughts about Putin? I’m sure there are some people who admire him and will follow his lead. Remember history, Hitler had followers and believers. Putin, Hitler, and others who have done things we don’t think are right have been influential, charismatic, and persuasive and convince people to join with them to support their vision. More characteristics of leaders – vision and motivation. How do we know if we are choosing the right person to follow if they are able to sweep us up with their charm, words, and ideas?

Are the world leaders we now have doing a respectable job? What are their values? I choose to follow leaders whose values are like mine, and who maintain and display those values in their words and actions. There are times when we don’t have a choice of our leader. In politics we can make a choice when we vote, but we have no guarantee that our choice will become the leader. Think about the qualities we are seeing in the world leaders of today. Often, we find the qualities being displayed do not match our ideas of a leader and go against our values. Trying to find a way to influence these leaders is not an easy task. If we don’t speak up or make our thoughts and ideas known in some way, are we being complicit in the actions being taken, but with which we don’t agree? 

There are certainly business leaders. Some quite famous and some who have helped us learn to be good leaders. Some business leaders are unethical, unkind, dishonest, and seek only to satisfy their own needs of money and extravagant lifestyles. Though there are business ‘leaders’ who have good management skills and many leadership skills, they are not the leaders I necessarily want to follow. Having the skills of a leader doesn’t necessarily make you a leader. 

Social media influencers.

It wasn’t until recently that I grasped what influencers were. I had heard about them. Again, they might have some incredibly good leadership skills, but influencing isn’t necessarily the same thing. Leaders do need to be able to influence others. Being influenced to buy certain things, eat in specific places, party at the “in” club, and “hang” with the in people is not necessarily advantageous to us. Influencers and ad agencies lead us in the direction that will benefit them, not us.

We need to be discerning when we choose who to follow. Learn to ask the right questions. Find out if the leader’s values align with your values. Additionally, remember a leader in one area is not necessarily a leader in another situation. I might be an excellent nursing leader but if my house is on fire, I will follow the lead of the firefighters. There are times when a group or team might have more than one leader. Think of sports – the captain, the coach, the first base coach, the trainer, and others on the team who have experience and could lead.

I have repeated this often in my blogs and postings – “everyone is a leader!” Uncover your leadership skills and develop them to the best of your ability. Why would you do this if you don’t want to be in a leadership role? The skills of a leader are the same skills that can be used in life – communication, negotiation, motivation, inspiration, empathy, listening, compassion, and supportive to name only a few.

There is an incredible amount to learn about leading and leadership. I have years of experience and formal education in leadership, and I learn more every day!

You don’t have to enroll in formal education to develop leadership skills. All you need is to keep an open mind, do a bit of reading, be aware of what leaders (good and bad) are doing, and identify areas that you would like to improve. Consider starting with leading yourself and learning to communicate. Those two items will give you a solid foundation on which to develop and build your leadership identity.

Do you have questions or comments?

person standing on black sand beach in front of question mark
Photo by Marlon Trottmann on Pexels.com

I’d love to communicate and get a discussion going. Please let me know your thoughts.

I also offer programs and courses that can be tailored to your learning needs. https://leadnurses.com/programs/

Gratitude, Happiness, and Leadership

As a leader are you demonstrating gratitude and happiness?

Does a leader need to be happy and grateful?

Are you promoting gratitude and happiness in your workplace?

My belief is that everyone would have a much better life if they demonstrated gratitude and made the choice to be happy. This does not mean you need to hide your troubles, not pay attention to what bothers you, to ignore your unhappiness or your illnesses, and struggles; these need to be addressed. As a new friend of mine says “you have to feel it to heal it.” As humans, we have oodles of emotions to which we react or respond. Some emotions lift us up while others bring us down or lead to outbursts. We can learn not to react to emotions but instead to respond in a more efficient and effective way. Of course, this will not happen all the time, but it is what we want as our usual response. We are human, and as such we have a wide variety of emotions some uplifting, but not all of them. Embrace your emotions as you learn to be in control of your responses. Where your thoughts go, your energy will flow. Make sure your energy is used for enjoyment, and for what you are grateful.

Gratitude has been identified as a feeling or emotion that promotes happiness. Gratitude can be hard to find now with a pandemic and a war in Ukraine. Much has happened to leave us feeling beat down, and that the world is against us. However, if we focus on being thankful for the small things like sunshine, life, food to eat, clean water to drink, and no war (yes, that is a big one), we are making a good step in the direction of discovering more things for which to be grateful.

I want to make sure we are all talking about the same thing when we use the word gratitude. According to Harvard Health Publishing’s article, (Positive Psychology: Harnessing the power of happiness, mindfulness, and inner strength – Harvard Health)

“Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what you receive, whether tangible or intangible. With gratitude, you acknowledge the goodness in your life.”

You can have gratitude for events or people in your past. Think about the people for whom you are grateful, do they know you appreciate them? Take a few minutes and write a thank you note. Once done, send it to them (electronically or by snail mail), or even better take it to them and read it aloud. Plan to do this once a month. And don’t forget to write a thank-you note to yourself every once in a while.

If gratitude and thinking positive are so important, why do we often have negative thoughts and remember the bad things that have happened? Our evolution primed our brains to focus on danger or anything bad that might be able to harm us or kill us. Our brains were wired for our protection. The dangers of the cave dweller days are not the same today, and our brains do not have to remember quite so many ‘bad’ things. We are now ready to retrain our brains to be aware of and enjoy the ‘good’ things in our lives. Today, if we focus on what will harm or kill us, we aren’t likely to make ourselves safer, but instead, leave us worried, stressed, and unhappy.

Don’t take what you have for granted. Harvard Health Publishing’s article, Positive Psychology (Positive Psychology: Harnessing the power of happiness, mindfulness, and inner strength – Harvard Health) shared this scientific evidence:

Robert Emmons of the University of California, Davis, and Mike McCullough of the University of Miami examined the impact of keeping a gratitude journal. All participants in their study were asked to write a few sentences each week, focusing on five things. One group wrote about things they were grateful for that had occurred during the week. A second group wrote about daily hassles or things that had displeased them, and the third wrote about events that had affected them (with no emphasis on them being positive or negative). After 10 weeks, those who wrote about gratitude were more optimistic and felt better about their lives. Surprisingly, they also exercised more and had fewer visits to physicians than those who focused on hassles. Numerous other studies have pointed to the beneficial effects—not only for adults, but also for children and adolescents—of regularly making lists of things for which we’re grateful, keeping a gratitude journal, or expressing gratitude to others. Cultivating gratitude in these ways may also help us deal with common forms of psychological distress, such as anxiety or depression.

You deserve appreciation too. I appreciate me for being strong and successfully getting through chemotherapy and feeling so much better, two years later. There are many other things about me for which I can be grateful. If you don’t write yourself a letter, write your gratitude and appreciation in your journal or on post-it notes, and if writing isn’t your thing, take time to contemplate your blessings. We all have much for which to be grateful.

Those in leadership often arrive in that position because it was their turn for promotion. Education and development in leadership are often absent. These leaders are flying by the seat of their pants, learning through trial and error. There is no need for that with all the programs, books, and courses available. Leaders are responsible for determining the culture of their workplace. With that being the case, why not strive for a culture including happiness and gratitude?

I’m more than happy to chat with you and direct you toward a life of happiness.

Stress vs Burnout: What Is the Difference?

Do you feel disillusioned, helpless, exhausted? You might be on the path to burnout or burned out. What to do?

We have heard of stress and burnout, especially in the last couple of years. Unfortunately, with the current state of the world, I don’t think we will see a decrease in either stress or burnout anytime soon. We also know that many people are experiencing one, the other, or both. What can we learn, how can we help ourselves, and others?

According to the referenced article, burnout causes physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion because of prolonged stress. I think we are seeing these signs of burnout and stress in many people.

I found the following information about Stress and Burnout.

Characterized by over-engagement.Characterized by disengagement.
Emotions are overreactive.Emotions are blunted.
Produces urgency and hyperactivity.Produces helplessness and hopelessness.
Loss of energy.Loss of motivation, ideals, and hope.
Leads to anxiety disorders.Leads to detachment and depression.
Primary damage is physical.Primary damage is emotional.
May kill you prematurely.May make life seem not worth living.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms in the chart above, please seek help from a physician, psychologist, coach, or whoever is your source of support. If you know of someone experiencing these symptoms, be a friend, and encourage them to seek support.

Do you tell your employer? Tough question. If you choose to let the employer know, don’t go into much detail, at least initially. However, see about taking a vacation, a few days off, sick day(s), and don’t take on extra work. Speak up for yourself. Are others at your place of work feeling the same thing?

If you don’t work for someone else, don’t work outside the home, or are unemployed – the same things apply. What can you let go of? What can you do to lift yourself up – something you haven’t done for quite a while, that will make you feel good. Consider reconnecting with friends and family. Go outside. Make sure you are getting enough sleep, good nutrition, and activity. Also, look at what you are doing to cope, are you using too much alcohol, drugs, food, tv, gaming, gambling, sleeping a lot, and decide which of these things need to go. They all need to go, but you can start with one or two. Have a reasonable plan that will ensure you succeed.

You want to get yourself feeling better, have hope, feel positive and be healthy. I can’t state this too much – find someone to help. If you don’t know where to look or who can help, contact me – I can guide you to someone or I can help.

We deserve to live a vibrant, fulfilling, beautiful life. Together we can have such a life.

There are physical, emotional, and behavioural signs of burnout, and thus it can affect all areas of your life. Identify how you have changed. Because burnout doesn’t occur overnight, the signs and symptoms might sneak up on you. Consider talking to those around you, help each other do a check on how you are doing. Maybe even set up a group to work together to help each other, to hold each other accountable, and maybe even prevent burnout.

Life is more than surviving, don’t let the troubles of the world take over. There is likely nothing you can do about the state of the world, you can only control yourself. Take charge of you! Be the best at whatever you do.

Let me know how you are doing and if I can be of help.

Our Brain and Leadership: Where Does Neuroplasticity Fit?

Leaders need to always be learning. As I continue to delve into information on leadership, neuroplasticity, and synchronicity I am learning unbelievably interesting material. Of course, I will be sharing at least some of what I read with you.

As leaders, we are influencing others all the time and a good leader is cognizant of their attitudes, actions, and words. Leaders also have a large influence on their work environment. With the influence on the work environment leaders also influence the brain development of employees. Self-directed neuroplasticity, according to Bosch (2021), “is the process of the brain adapting to the work we do and how we do it.” As such, leaders want to endeavour to create a positive workplace recognizing peoples’ needs for such things as “autonomy, relatedness, and fairness” (Bosch, 2021). A few steps Bosch (2021) suggests to create a positive work environment include:

  1. Positive feedback in a timely manner
  2. Learning opportunities
  3. Communication – all forms, by everyone
  4. Participation in ideas  
  5. Limited distractions thus allowing people to focus and develop new neural pathways
  6. Necessary breaks encouraging reflection and new thinking – did you know some studies suggest longer hours make people less effective

Knowing that we can continue to develop neural pathways throughout our life we must consider what those pathways will be and how we will develop them. How we use our brain determines what we develop. Just as you train for physical competition, or for a chess game, or a spot on Jeopardy, we exercise and plan. The same must be done to develop the brain. Practice what you want to learn, expose yourself to new ideas, new people, new experiences. Challenge your brain and your memory. Your neurotransmitters need to be kept in balance.

Our brains play a vital role in emotions and memory. Our brain is also involved in our reaction or response to stressors. As I have written about in the past, the heart is also involved. Stress results in both physiological and biological responses with the fight or flight response: increased heart and breathing rate, increased blood sugar, the release of adrenaline and cortisol, our pupils dilate, and we are not able to digest food as easily as blood is redirected to essential areas for survival. When cortisol (the stress hormone) is released this, in turn, releases stored glucose for energy, and over time our immune system is suppressed.

There are ways to adapt our response to stress. I encourage the use of HeartMath and any other techniques that you find work for you. Bosch (2021) identifies the following as ways to help reduce your stress level:

  1. Make your goals realistic
  2. Learn your triggers and how to decrease your response to them, or avoid those triggers
  3. Take time during the day to refresh yourself through calm moments that could include conscious breathing, HeartMath techniques, meditation, go for a walk or other physical activity
  4. Connect with people – friends or family – did you know loneliness increases your vulnerability to stress
  5. Physical activity also reduces levels of adrenaline and cortisol, so make it a regular part of your daily routine

We can do a myriad of things to improve our well-being and as leaders demonstrate to others healthy habits. Include healthy habits with additional activities to build a safe, positive, desired workplace.

I can guide you to learn specific techniques and systems that relate to you and your situation, personally or professionally. We all deserve to live a beautiful life.


Bosch, H. 2021. Why We Do What We Do. EBSCO Information Services – www.ebscohost.com

What the World Needs Now from Our Leaders

close up shot of a blue pansy butterfly
Photo by Erik Karits on Pexels.com

I am a supporter of Complexity Leadership. I discovered Complexity Leadership as I worked on my Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership several years ago. When I read about this leadership theory, I was asking myself ‘why haven’t I heard of this before?’ and ‘why has this not been adopted much more widely?’ I  was thrilled to see and read an article by Aaron J. McKim and Catlin M. Goodwin (2021) espousing the qualities of complexity, leadership, and sustainability. Non-linear and dynamic systems are something that I relate to, I am not particularly good at linear. This goes back a long time as I have always asked ‘but what if,’ ‘can we try,’ and ‘how will that influence [e.g., another department, etc.]. I believe that what one person does has an effect on everyone else. Think butterfly effect – a butterfly flaps its wings in one area of the world it can result in  weather change elsewhere. Making even small changes can bring about large consequences.

As we continue through the COVID-19 pandemic, and extreme weather conditions resulting in numerous disasters, and the environmental changes threatening our existence on this earth I have become aware that we – humans – need to do something different. If we keep doing the same things, we will continue to get the same results. (“Austin Talent Acquisition | High Tech Recruiters-HireFactors”) If we continue with the same results, the outcome will not be favourable. Thus, following what McKim and Goodwin (2021) have to say we need complexity theory as the foundation of leadership for sustainability.

Will we embrace leadership for sustainability?

We are not seeing any form of leadership for sustainability from the current leaders making the headlines. Maybe we need to step up and be leaders rather than leave leadership to the elected officials, big corporations, and the very wealthy. Afterall, they don’t seem to be doing a particularly good job. There have been changes occurring over the years that have not been addressed.

What can we do?

According to McKim and Goodwin (2021) “leadership scholarship and practice must change to equip all individuals with the capacity to disrupt systems, collaborate across differences, learn continuously, and build relationships in an effort to collectively advance toward a more ecologically, socially, and economically sustainable future.” (“Complexity theory: The changing role of leadership”) This resonates positively and powerfully with me.

Though this might sound a bit rebellious I adamantly support this notion and believe it is where our hope for the future lies. We will not go back to what we thought was normal prior to COVID-19. Those days are long past. Nonetheless, we do not need to be fearful or mourn their loss. We simply need to open our minds, hearts, and emotions to view the world in a unique way. If you are not curious you need become curious and ask difficult questions. I suggest we start with ourselves; ask yourself the difficult questions; what are my values, what beliefs have I carried all my life that might no longer be true, and where will I be and what will my life look like in the future – five years, ten years, maybe even as far as twenty years. Though we probably can’t fathom what changes will take place in those time frames, it behooves us to at least ask and make changes according to our values and strive for a positive future. If the current path of our world continues the future seems somewhat bleak.

Complexity theory is a profound shift in the way we understand and see the world. The linear thoughts, still very prominent in our world, need to change. Complexity theory suggests a non-linear, dynamic, emergent, and self-organizing system that is unpredictable and uncertain, according to Marion and Uhl-Bien (2001). Already we have complex systems where the interactions of the parts require understanding. An open, curious mind is needed to understand these interactions and encourage innovation, on-going learning, and change to evolve or emerge.

Complexity theory has provided a basis for complex leadership, systems leadership, and adaptive leadership. Moving away from traditional leadership models where hierarchy, prescriptive processes, and managed change are the roles of a few at the top. With complexity leadership we will see leaders clarifying the emergent processes of systems as they self-organize (McKim & Goodwin). Leaders will encourage disruption of existing patterns of behaviour within systems and will stimulate the exchange of information, ideas, and innovation (McKim & Goodwin).

Anyone and everyone can and must identify as a leader and accept the connected responsibilities (McKim & Goodwin). There is no place for anyone to sit back and say, ‘it’s not my job.’ Leadership is everyone’s job. Open your minds, your hearts, and your curiosity to move forward, disrupt, and see what emerges.

I will be continuing to share information about complexity leadership in future blogs and I look forward to your comments and discussion.


McKim, A.J. & Goodwin, C.M. (2021). Emergent opportunities in complexity, leadership, and sustainability. Journal of Leadership Studies, Volume 15, Number 3, 2021.

Marion, R. & Uhl-Bien, M. (2001). Leadership in complex organizations. The Leadership Quarterly, 12,389-418.

How Is Your Team Functioning?

I enjoyed and learned a lot from Patrick Lencioni’s book The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. If you are a leader, a manager, a coach, or at any time have people who look to you for advice, coaching, or leadership I recommend you give it a read.

The Five Dysfunctions that Lencioni identifies are: 1) Absence of Trust 2) Fear of Conflict 3)Lack of Commitment 4) Avoidance of Accountability 5)Inattention to Results.

Absence of Trust: If the team members are open and honest with each other trust will exist. Team members need to be able to share what they might have done wrong, what their concerns are, and any weaknesses they might have. There is a need for vulnerability among the team members.

Fear of Conflict: Many people want to avoid conflict. Conflict can be ok as long as it is respectful and not about a person but about a process or a thing. However, to have open discussions the team members need to trust each other. Passionate debate that is open and respectful can be a great advantage for any team.

Lack of Commitment: How committed would you be to put into action something you thought wasn’t right, but hadn’t had an opportunity to express your thoughts and ideas? If team members haven’t had a chance to freely discuss their concerns or resistance to ideas and to offer other suggestions, they are not likely to have the necessary buy-in and won’t be in a hurry to accept what someone else thinks is right when they disagree.

Avoidance of Accountability: If that buy-in is not present there isn’t commitment, and without commitment, there is no reason to call attention to any errors along the way. If there is no commitment a person won’t be eager to share their own errors let alone someone else’s. Errors need to be out in the open to allow everyone the opportunity to ensure they can be overcome. There might be a need to change a process so the same error is not repeated.

Inattention to Details: Who cares about details if you aren’t in favour of what is going on anyway? Individual needs are put ahead of those identified by the team as their priorities and goals. How many organizations actually do this? The well-being of the employees is essential to having a successful organization. The details of any project will only be attended to by workers who feel valued and cared for.

These Five Dysfunctions build on each other and the first one and all the others start with Trust. How can Trust be built? Before even thinking about building trust everyone on the team will want to examine their personality type and the personality types of the other team members. There are a variety of personality evaluations available for this purpose. I know the DiSC method and am a certified partner, so will refer to it from time to time. Once personality types are identified, and all types are important, then the work of finding out how to get along begins.

Having a functional team takes work from everyone. It is a journey to create the functional team, and the journey will need to be repeated with new team members, and at times with a few new roads.

And Now for Something Different in Leadership: Complexity Leadership

close up shot of a blue pansy butterfly
Photo by Erik Karits on Pexels.com

What the heck is Complexity Leadership?

As an agreed-upon definition is difficult to find I think it best to provide examples: the human body, family, planet, ecosystems, beehive, and organisms.

Complexity Leadership (CL) is based on collaboration rather than on the familiar top-down hierarchy. Can you imagine being in collaboration with your boss?

Another thing to remember is that everything you do has an effect on everything else.

I think creating a workplace environment in which there is no fear of punishment when reporting errors and/or accidents. The idea of reporting such things would ideally lead to investigation to get to the cause and from there make any necessary changes.

I first started looking into this type of leadership as an ideal system for nurses and healthcare environments. One of my interests in that area was to examine errors that might be caused by nurses being overworked and tired – something to consider now, during the pandemic. A CL model would get input from the nurses and others working and collaborating with them on how this might be remedied, or at least decreased. After all, errors made in the hospital could have fatal results. Maybe the entire healthcare system could be examined using a CL model.

What about your work environment? How could CL be used?

First of all, Complexity Theory, on which Complexity Leadership (CL) is based, is not complicated. Complexity Theory is the examination of complex adaptive systems.

The characteristics of Complexity Theory include:

Emergence – the whole is larger than the parts; the interaction of parts leads to a complex system




Small changes can lead to a large outcome (think butterfly effect)


Constant change and innovation

What would this look like where you work?

What would this look like in healthcare?

What would it look like if the leaders had used this at COP26?

Emotional Intelligence and Leadership

Who needs emotional intelligence (EI or EQ)? My answer is everyone. In fact, it is something that should be taught throughout school. It doesn’t necessarily need to be a stand-alone course, though it certainly could be. EI could be included in courses for communication, psychology, sociology, and be a part of nursing and medical curricula. How can anyone effectively work with people and not have stellar EI.

Daniel Goleman’s theory of EQ is as follows:

Emotional intelligence is the ability to perceive emotions, to access and generate emotions so as to assist thought, to understand emotions and emotional knowledge, and to reflectively regulate emotions so as to promote emotional and intellectual growth.

Goleman also states that “Great leadership works through the emotions.”

(Goleman, Boyatzyis, & McKee. Primal Leadership: Unleashing the Power of Emotional Intelligence. 2013.)

What is the process for learning about EI? As with many things, it starts with self: Self-awareness and Self-management followed by Social Awareness and Relationship management.

I found a test online that can help you discover your EI and begin your journey. This test only gives you an idea of where you are, and it is not the full test. I encourage you to check this one or another one out.

Note that the first item of EI is Self-awareness. This is straight -forward, if you aren’t aware of your emotions, you won’t be able to change how you respond in various situations. Once you are self-aware you can learn or improve your ability to self-manage, I also refer to this as self-leadership. Self-awareness is the foundation of the rest. Becoming self-aware also helps you to develop Social Awareness. Having paid attention to yourself, your emotions, and your reactions in various situations, you will be more likely to be able to notice how others react or respond to a variety of emotional events. Empathy comes into play in this area: being aware of what others are experiencing. This doesn’t mean you want to respond to someone going through a traumatic event with “I know how you feel”. That isn’t empathy. Empathy is understanding from where that person is coming. You understand the pain, grief, and sadness being experienced by the individual. Developing these three areas naturally leads to Relationship management. Our lives are filled with relationships.

Why does this make a difference to anyone, or in this case, to leaders? I want my boss, coach, guide, or anyone in a leadership role to have these qualities; to be Emotionally Intelligent.

A leader with a high EQ would be likely to be much better at inspiring and leading teams. Hopefully, an EI leader will guide and assist in the development of the other leaders in the organization. There can be more than one leader. We all have different skills and abilities in which we can lead. A socially aware leader will know when to call on others.

A lot goes on in our brain.

You do not have to be a leader to become more EI, it is worthwhile for everyone. Synchronicity occurred today: I am once again taking part in a research study and one of the lessons today was about the brain – our caveman brain and our frontal cortex. These are the areas involved in our reactions. Too much to go into here. But watch for my next blog on our caveman brain and our frontal cortex.

Self-Leadership: Do you have it?

Self-care, now self-leadership. Do I have to do everything myself? I don’t even know what these things are. Maybe they are just the latest fad.

Whether these things are the latest fad or not they are worth investigating. Find out what self-leadership is. Can you lead others if you aren’t able to lead yourself?

Do you have the characteristics of a leader? Maybe you should check:

  • Good communication skills
  • Self-aware
  • Gratitude
  • Life-long learning & learning agility
  • Influential
  • Empathic
  • Courageous
  • Respectful


Of course, these aren’t all the characteristics, qualities, or skills a leader might need. But, they are a good start. How many of these apply to you & how many can be applied to self-leadership?

What does self-leadership mean?

Self-Leadership is the practice of intentionally influencing your thinking, feeling and actions towards your objective/s” (Bryant and Kazan 2012, Self Leadership – How to Become a More Effective, and Efficient Leader from the Inside Out). ” (https://www.selfleadership.com/what-is-self-leadership)

Objectives: what are your objectives? We’ve seen information lately on principles, values, & goals; the term objectives hasn’t been used recently. Think of objectives as your goals; what you want to achieve, where you want to go.

Personal development, in my opinion, is the basis for self-leadership & for any leader. Do a self-assessment, on your own or with a coach if you feel you need a bit of help. Have you determined what you want from life, set your values, & align your goals with your values? If you haven’t heard of Emotional Intelligence, you might want to investigate it as I believe it is extremely important for a leader, formal leader, informal leader, or self-leader.

If you haven’t increased your self-awareness this is another area to investigate. Not only will it help you personally, but it will also help you interact with others, whether as a leader, a follower, or a partner in a relationship, or any relationship. Along with self-awareness, emotional intelligence, learn how to communicate – in conversations, presentations, or in writing. These are skills everyone needs, but even more so as a leader. Develop your personal qualities & you will be well on the way to self-leadership & leading others.

What wasn’t mentioned in the above qualities or characteristics is self-care. Self-care is imperative for a leader & for self-leadership. Remember self-care involves more than a spa day. Self-care involves taking care of your physical, mental, emotional, & spiritual needs. You need to be able to set an example in this area. I’m happy to help if you need a bit of guidance in any of these areas – send me a message & we can chat