Working with countless teams over many years we have come to develop a keen eye for talented and effective leaders.
For some, their view of good leadership tends to centre around visible individuals and their talents, contributions, and measurable achievements. While there is some validity in this thinking, we believe leadership is tightly linked to a quiet, often private, inward journey which leads to a humble confidence, strong self-awareness and a belief in oneself. It requires a significant journey of self-discovery, introspective thinking, and self-growth which, when done thoroughly and consistently, leads to paradigm shifts in thinking and transformed organisations.
Bryan and Kazan (Self Leadership, 2012) affirms this thinking too, “having a developed sense of who you are, what you can do, where you are going, coupled with the ability to influence your communication, emotions and behaviour on the way to getting there” is at the heart of good leadership.
Self-leadership is also what makes a person effective. Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (2004) explains self-leadership in the following 7 habits:
Habit 1: Be Proactive
This essentially means to take full responsibility for your lives and choices. To be proactive, you should take the initiative, choose proactive language and focus on your Circle of Influence.
Habit 2: Begin with The End In Mind
This is the habit of personal leadership. It is about having a clear vision in your mind on your end destination and goals. This is important because everything happens first in your mind before becoming reality in the physical form. To get started, you’ll need to start by examining your centre and developing your personal mission statement.
Habit 3: Put First Things First
With clear priorities identified and created mentally (Habit 2), you move into the habit of personal-management. This is where you exercise willpower and discipline, to organise and implement activities that translate your goals into reality. Covey shares the time-management matrix and how to effectively manage your time using 6 key principles.
Habit 4: Think Win-Win
This is the habit of interpersonal relationship. Win-win is a mind-set and philosophy built on an approach of achieving mutual benefit for the parties involved. Where a win-win solution cannot be reached, consider agreeing to disagree amicably, rather than “force” a deal.
Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood.
This is the habit of communication, and it is built on emphatic listening. Emphatic listening represents an entire paradigm shift because it is not about applying listening skills, but “listening with intent to understand”. This is opposed to how most people listen – with the intent to speak or respond; They are still in their own frame of reference, not that of the other person’s.
Habit 6: Synergize
This is the habit of creative co-operation, where “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”. It’s about acknowledging that people are all ‘correct’ in their different perspectives, and are prepared to “value this difference”, you gain new knowledge and understanding of reality, and open up Third Alternatives.
Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw
This is the habit of self-renewal and has a synergistic impact on all the other habits. All 4 key dimensions – Physical, Spiritual, Mental, Social/Emotional – are interrelated and must be renewed in a balanced way. In fact, when we sharpen the saw in any one dimension, it creates positive synergistic effects on the other dimensions and all seven habits.
So, where to from here?
The most powerful thing to focus on for improvement is oneself.
A leader who has the self-awareness, confidence, and belief to know what needs to be done can make things happen and it will have a positive impact on all aspects of your life, your health, your career and your relationships.
However, growth does not just happen, you must be intentional about it and you need to plan to grow.
John Maxwell, author of countless leadership titles including ‘The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership’ and ‘The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader’ writes, “there are four (4) steps to growing your leadership” (Good Leaders Ask Great Questions, 2014):
- Set aside time to grow
- Determine your areas of growth
- Find resources in your growth area
- Apply what you learn daily.”
Therefore, to help you get started on your leading-self journey, and/or to help guide emerging leaders in your team get started, Creating Breakthroughs offer three (3) solutions:
A. Whole Brain Thinking – Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument (HBDI) Profile:
Aristotle once said, “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” The relationship with yourself is one of the most important relationships in your life. If you do not have a full understanding of who you are, how hard is it for others to get to know you?
One way of understanding who you are is using a psychometric assessment tool. There are many on the marketing including Myers Briggs, Strengths Finder, and DISc, but the team at Creating Breakthroughs prefer using Herrmann’s Whole Brain Thinking and the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument (HBDI). Inspired initially by Nobel Prize winning research, the HBDi tool measures individual thinking preferences in four unique and distinct modes of thinking and is utilised by many of the world’s leading corporations and 93% of the top 100 Fortune 500 listed companies. It provides insights into a leader’s thinking preferences and as a result, insights into how they approach things like communicating, decision making, and problem solving.
B. Breakthrough Leadership – Leading Self Program:
Highly effective leaders inspire and create teams which deliver on projects and build reputation through alignment and accountability. The paired rewards of effective leadership are business success for the team and personal satisfaction for its members. By attending our Leading Self program, leaders will have an opportunity to embed the foundational skills of leadership from the distilled resources of world class leaders including Covey, Warren Bennis, Ned Herrmann, and Marilee Adams. You will also walk away with:
- A new understanding of and increased confidence in their role as a leader;
- Clarity regarding the important difference between leading and managing;
- Having developed a compelling vision for their leadership and for their team; and
- An understanding on how to define success for their team and establish a cycle of success.
Many of our former participants attribute their success to the program and some have even gone on to accept significant promotions. If you still need convincing, feel free to read some of the testimonies on our website or contact us and we would be only too happy to connect you with them personally.
C. Leadership Coaching:
Our Creating Breakthrough leadership coaches work one-to-one with current and emerging leaders to help uncover and address their assumptions and blind spots that impede their effectiveness. Rooted in gaining deeper self-awareness and self-mastery, our integrated process gives leaders the ability to deal with challenges, conflicts, and change effectively.
If you are seeking understanding around who you are, what you can do or where you are going, feel free to contact us