I know that many would see the word ‘leader’ and automatically assume I am talking to someone else. Maybe you made that assumption too. Too often people believe that you need to have some specific title or be a particular type of person to lead. I used to think that way too. Even I was given a title and still didn’t ‘feel’ like a leader. This becomes a barrier to development. You will only invest in yourself as a leader when you accept the role you have to play in your arena of life.
“Leadership is influence” as said so well by John C. Maxwell. You have areas of influence in your life regardless of position, personality or passions. You are left with a choice: will I develop my skills to use this influence well or will I allow my own insecurities to impact on others? Perfection is not the goal. Growth is.
If feeling inadequate is a barrier you are dealing with right now, I am running a free webinar just for you TODAY! See all the details at the bottom of this post.
How to invest in yourself as a leader
Maybe you are somewhat convinced that it is worth investing in yourself as a leader (even just a little!) Where do you even begin? We are surrounded by a wealth of knowledge, resources and opportunity. This can bring overwhelm and indecision.
How we lead ourselves has tremendous impact on how we lead others. This starts with developing self-awareness.
- Tune into your thinking and the words that you use. Notice any patterns and the impact those words and thoughts have on your actions.
- Discover more about your motivations, defaults and strengths. I find tools such as the Enneagram and Strengths Finder really helpful for this. Make sure that you do not view exploring personality as a way to justify your behaviour though! These are growth tools. They can help you own your responses and make changes. Lean into your strengths. Show up as the best version of yourself.
- Remember that this is a continual process not a once-off exercise.
Become a learner
Leadership requires life-long learning. It is not a destination that you arrive at and get comfortable. Get into the habit of learning from others and applying the lessons that you most need at that time.
- Read books (or listen to the audiobook version). There are so many incredible books on leadership out there! My ‘want-to-read’ list is never ending. It can be daunting to get started. That is exactly why I wrote my book Stepping Up In Leadership and kept it short. It is designed to be a way to ease into this practice of reading and learning. Some other authors that I would recommend are Jo Saxton, Carey Nieuwhof, John Maxwell, Christine Caine, Jess Connolly, Greg McKeown and James Clear. Try just reading for 10 minutes a day and see the difference it makes.
- Listen to podcasts. I gain so much wisdom and practical tips from the podcasts I listen to. (This is why I create podcast episodes each week to give back to others too.) Some of my favourite podcasts right now:
- The Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast
- Lead Stories Podcast
- Plucking Up with Liz Bohannon
- Perko’s Podcast
- Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast
- The Jenni Catron Leadership Podcast
- Find a way to reflect on and apply what you are learning. This is the part that I miss out frequently. If I don’t make a point to write some notes from the books or podcasts, I quickly forget the lesson. Maybe we can encourage each other to develop more effective habits of writing notes and journaling through the lessons learned?
Put it into practice
Find one or two strategies that you want to apply and do them! We cannot change everything at once but we can take steps forward each day.
You are worth investing in. Not only for yourself but especially for the people in your life. We do the work so that we can show up for the people we care about. Investing in yourself as a leader is not a selfish pursuit.
How are you going to invest in yourself as a leader this week?