Leaders will achieve success or failure based on their ability to make better decisions, own mistakes, and lead to success by projecting an optimal version of themselves. There is a perpetual struggle in our personal and business lives and leaders encounter difficult situations where researchers have shown that leaders fail either due to lack of teamwork or continuous learning.
As strange it appears, success is based on one’s ability to develop self-leadership skills which begin with our personal reflection on successful problem-solving initiatives which are integral to growth. What I learned in the Army was that success comes to the side where leaders lead from the front putting themselves in harm’s way to lead their teams to success. It is easy to see how self-leadership through the chain of command becomes integral to an organization’s success.
How do you cultivate self-leadership?
The very best leaders lead by example. They know that self-leadership is essential to success. When you understand who you are and take responsibility for how you show up, you'll make better decisions and build stronger relationships. People are more likely to respect and trust you and will be inspired to follow your lead.
Accepting your vulnerability is crucial for your leadership. You are grappling with it on a daily basis and you must understand that accepting everything that you find problematic and then working to seek and provide solutions within the framework of your limitations is very liberating. Vulnerability is not disclosure but the management of uncertainty, risk & emotional exposure. Vulnerability acceptance is the birthplace of innovation, creativity, trust, empathy, and courage and all these traits lead to your Leadership.
In these disruptive times, adaptability is the flavor of the season and is defined as “how well a person responds to the inevitability of change,”. According to the newfound survey, it is a must-have trait post-pandemic. Organizations want team members who can shoulder additional responsibilities and acquire new skills as needed in an uncertain world. Not only is it a quality that you should learn to spot, so you can hire and retain the right people, but it’s also one that you should build in order to remain indispensable and employable.
I spend time with start-ups and during my interactions with founders what I’ve realized in the course of a brief conversation is that adaptability is a characteristic that distinguishes many of those who go on to succeed, turning out to be the unicorn in the coming years and be the corporates and organizations of the future.
When we are talking about growth, instead of learning, look for signs of “unlearning” “Unlearning” is another important sign of Leadership, Active un-learners seek to challenge what they presume to already know and instead override that data with new information.
An exploratory mindset can yield clear benefits. As an example, Post hanging my boots I moved to a new neighborhood and needed to find a grocery store. I drove out of my house, arbitrarily turned left, and found a store a few blocks away which I began to frequent. A few weeks later, on a hunch, I turned right and stumbled into a grocery store not much further away with a better produce section. If I had remained with the old system then surely would’ve missed out on something better which was on offer.
How often do you do that in your own life? “The path becomes so much more interesting when you wander.” It’s better to explore and find ways to break habits that you already have, whether that’s trying to watch a movie in a different theatre, different language, cooking a different cuisine, driving an alternate route, or walking an unorthodox path.
Leadership development starts from the ground up. That means working on your self-leadership skills to fuel both personal and organizational leadership success. What organizational goals can your professional goals align with? How can you work with your team to achieve them? For a leadership development program to truly succeed it needs change, innovation, and a common foundation to operate. The more people develop and use self-leadership skills, the greater the pool of innovation for growth. Balancing short and long-term objectives is not an easy task, especially when it comes to leadership development. Self-leaders need to be able to manage and adapt to constant change throughout the business to achieve sustainable results and cultivate continuous growth.
In order for self-leaders to be successful, it is necessary to take responsibility for their actions, stop blaming systems, managers, and circumstances for unfavorable conditions. But leadership success is more than just taking the initiative. Self-leadership is a constant balancing act between meeting your needs and the needs of your organization. To develop as a self-leader you have to maintain the mindset to meet both because there are no favorites. Human emotions are complex and deeply wired into our behaviors, often without us realizing it. Our biological makeup makes it incredibly difficult to be self-aware. More than ever, you need to develop your Self-Leadership abilities so that you can continually evolve your lens, frameworks, and actions to navigate new challenges and opportunities.
The environmental realities keep changing hence we must look for signs of exploration – To boldly go where no one has ventured so far. When we allow ourselves to adapt to different situations, life is easier. A wise man adapts himself to circumstances as water shapes itself into the vessel that contains it.
It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change. Be self-aware, humble, and engaged. Practice self-reflection to assess how you contributed to a situation, and commit to responding with your best self. Take initiative, be accountable, be responsible, own your attitude, keep it real and be brave. Be okay with failing, recognizing that we are all learning more about how to succeed every day. Be the leader you wish you had.
For more on leadership, trust and team building, entrepreneurial journey reach out to Tarun Kumar at the links given below -
"It's not what happens to YOU but
What happens in YOU that matters"