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Self Leadership or Self Management?

October 27, 2014

Self LeadershipThe discussion in one of my LinkedIn groups, was around the question “What is your favorite strategy for managing yourself?”. The discussion provided great wisdom to be shared.

Should we do away with the whole concept of self-management in favor of self-LEADERSHIP? What is the difference to you? Which of these concepts creates a stronger sense of need to take pro-action?

As a student of axiology (value science), two foundational principles guide my conscious choices (well, all the good ones at least):

Principle #1: “A thing is good when it has all the attributes needed to fulfill its purpose” and when a thing (or person) actually has all the attributes needed to fulfill its purpose, the purpose is always fulfilled.

I believe that the most important attribute I can develop in myself is that of being an authentic self-leader. Leadership (whether of others or of oneself) is about (among other things) vision, mission, principles, values, mindfulness, and people-development (including self). Now, from a self-leadership perspective, rather than focusing on outputs alone (i.e., simply producing a desired result), I focus on developing attributes, like self-leadership. I define self-leadership as the ability to self-actualize one’s own potential. As with most “things,” the attribute of self-leadership has attributes of its own. Here are seven of them:

  1. Futuristic Thinking: The ability to create an engaging vision for one’s life that inspires and breathes life into one’s soul.
  2. Practical Thinking: The ability to translate one’s vision into a series of worthwhile missions within the various aspects of one’s life (e.g., the wheel of life).
  3. Continuous Learning: The ability to develop and effectively utilize one’s assets toward to the achievement of those missions.
  4. Conflict Management: The ability to turn gaps, conflicts, and differences into opportunities.
  5. Versatility, Flexibility and Resiliency: The ability, agility, and resilience to transcend the unexpected.
  6. Systems Judgment: The ability to let go of the need to control.
  7. Personal Accountability: The ability to think and act with integrity relevant to universal principles of value creation (wisdom).

Principle #2: Success in any worthwhile endeavor, including living a “good” life, is all about creating value.

So, at the very top of my list of strategies is to constantly ask myself:

“What choice can I make and action can I take, in this moment, to create the greatest net value?”

Use this question for your work and for your relationships. See if it makes a difference in how effective you are in achieving your goals.

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