top of page


There is a direct correlation between a leader's external effectiveness and their internal reality. Basically, we can’t lead others if we can’t lead ourselves, or, the level of our leadership capacity is linked to the ability to lead ourselves.

It’s not a new thought; it’s been around for thousands of years. Effective leaders are committed to an inward journey of development whilst developing their ability to lead and influence others.

I use this image when I’m training leaders with an iceberg backdrop.

What we know about an iceberg is that the majority of the thing sits beneath the surface, unseen. It’s a lot like leadership. The thing that we want to ultimately change in ourselves, or others, is behaviour - what we say and do - but to do that, we have to change attitudes and to do that entails a reflection, understanding and willingness to work on our core

beliefs. That’s not easy stuff, but it is critical to breaking through the leadership lids that we all have. This is the journey of self-leadership.

It was hard to keep this to just five things, and the covid fog has certainly kicked in, but I’ll give it a crack!

Five things you need to know about self-leadership.

1. Check yourself before you wreck yourself

In the words of the philosopher and poet, IceCube lies the foundation of self-leadership. Understanding that your behaviour is linked to attitude and your attitude to your core beliefs and that these things need to be kept in check. If not, the ego creates havoc and chaos. Critical to self-leadership is a leader's ability to manage their ego.

2. Failing to plan is planning to fail

There’s no doubt that an essential aspect of leadership is effective planning, but how much time do we spend planning our own lives and leadership. Typically, we get to the end of the day with more left on our to-do list than we started; we carefully leave the office, backing out quietly, hoping the whole thing doesn’t implode and fall in around us. We race to the car, to race home, running late to spend the little time left in the day with those that mean the most to us. Unfortunately, leaders don’t spend enough time planning their day, their week, their month, or their year/s. Many think they don’t have time for it, I don’t think you can afford not to! Your time is too precious to not be intentional and efficient with it.

3. Leadership development

Whilst it’s true that some are more naturally bent toward leadership than others, most of the greats have dedicated time and resources to learning the art and science of leading. How much time do you give developing the thing you spend most of your time doing?

Here are a few questions to reflect on:

  • What does successful leadership look like?

  • What do I think my leadership strengths and areas of growth are?

  • What do my team think my leadership strengths and areas of development are? Have I asked them?

  • How will I further develop my strengths?

  • How will I build my areas of leadership growth?

  • What on-the-job actions can I do to develop this area?

  • What relationships can support my leadership development? Think peers, mentors, and coaches.

  • Who will keep me accountable for my leadership growth?

  • What am I reading, listening to, or watching to help me grow in these areas? What professional development am I completing next?

4. Habit Formation

As Jack Canfield says, your habits will determine your future. One of the best self-leadership strategies is developing new habits that reinforce the kind of leader you want to be. As many of you know, I’m a big fan of Atomic Habits by James Clear. If you haven’t read it, you should. It will change your life, and he writes about habits way better than I could. Here are some daily habits that you can think about implementing for your leadership.

  • Reading

  • Meditating or mindfulness

  • Writing handwritten cards to encourage your team

  • Set a reminder to get out of your office and walk around and chat with your team for 15 minutes

  • Listening to podcasts

  • End-of-day procedure

  • Stand-up meetings

  • Block time for strategic projects around your productivity cycle

  • Take a five-minute break every hour to stretch your legs and clear your mind

How to develop a habit?

  1. Choose an area you want to improve in.

  2. Identify an incredibly small habit that will support your improvement in that area.

  3. Increase your habit little by little.

  4. When you slip, get back on track quickly.

  5. Be patient and work the process.

  6. Be accountable to a habit tracker that you have to report on to a friend or colleague.

5. Take 100% responsibility for your leadership

Lastly, self-leadership is about taking 100% responsibility for your life and leadership. No excuses. No blaming. Take ownership and make the change. You may be hoping - waiting - for someone to come along and take you under their wing, mentor you, or take you on a leadership pilgrimage. If you want it, you’re probably going to have to go get it. No more waiting, no more procrastinating.

Action time! Make the call, buy the book, read the book, enroll in the course, hire the coach, change the habit, and do it now. Feel free to reach out to us here for any questions.

“Mastering others is strength; mastering oneself is true power.”

Lao Tsu

About ConnectStrat

ConnectStrat is a team of veteran strategic coaches, leaders, facilitators, and consultants focused on the technology sector, mainly IT Service Providers. 

We bring our clients through a process of Vision, Strategy, Execution, and Impact which results in business owners getting exactly what they want out of their businesses through people, process, and profit.

Our unique approach involves meeting facilitation, consulting, and 1-on-1 coaching to drive results.



Are you ready to grow your dream business with ConnectStrat?

Life is short and your dreams are too important to put on hold.  Let's start your journey today!

Not quite ready to talk to a guide?

Take our complementary business assessment to see where you stand across our 4 pillars

bottom of page