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Personal Leadership - Discover the elements of leadership, learn how to assess your leadership skills and realize the importance of self-management.

For me, leadership is personal. It starts with the individual. Each person brings who they are to the task of leading. If you are a leader or aspire to leadership, I ask you: Is all well in your world? Are you happy? Are you operating at maximum efficiency? If your answer is "yes," then the world is a better place. Personal leadership is about management of self. You start with you, so that you can effectively lead others.

We have all seen leaders who are not managing their life very well. They are leading, but they are not giving their best. Their leadership skills suffer. We have also seen leaders at the top of their game, who manage their lives well. Their leadership skills thrive and those around them are inspired.

Here are some elements of personal leadership:


Balance is a state of equilibrium among the various demands of your life. Balance is dynamic as opposed to static. For the most part, you are constantly making adjustments, sometimes minor sometimes major, to achieve balance. Maintaining balance allows you to function effectively and productively as you lead.


Fulfillment comes when you are living the life you want to live. You are able to give your all and be energized by your work. Your being and your work are a match. Your work flows and what you need comes to you. You are aligned with your destiny.

A Positive Relationship with Time

For years, management consultants and self-improvement experts have advised you to "manage" time. Planners, organizers and linear structures are useful, but in reality there is too much information and too many demands on your time to properly manage them. Time cannot be managed, you have to manage yourself.


Focus allows you to channel your energies to create the life you want. Without focus, things do not happen. Creating focus begins with identifying the top priorities in your life. Once your priorities are identified, spend your time honoring those priorities and getting them done.


Confidence attracts people. As a leader if you project self-confidence, people will want to follow you. Confidence involves self-knowledge and appropriate humility. A lack of confidence belies problems that sabotage your personal leadership.

How are you doing with your personal leadership? Here are some things you can do to build your personal leadership skills.

Conduct A Personal Leadership Assessment

Ask yourself the questions below. Analyze your answers to help you determine how you are doing and if there are any areas you need to work on.

Are there "energy drains" you would like to eliminate from your life?

Is your life in balance?

Do you choose what the components of your life will be?

Do you focus on priorities?

Are there elements of your life that are not fulfilling?

Do you live in the present moment?

How is your relationship with time?

Are your relationships and friendships supportive and fulfilling?

Do you like the way you present yourself to the world?

Are you maximizing your impact, using all you are?

Are you healthy?

Are there any fears that have gotten the better of you?

Are you speaking your true voice?

Observe Effective Leaders

The power of observation cannot be discounted. Identify several people that you think are effective leaders. Turn the lens of your observing from how they lead to how they manage their life. Read about them. If you have the opportunity, interview them. For each person you observe, do your best to determine how their self-management affects their ability to lead. From this observation identify your key learnings about personal leadership and how you will apply them to your life.

Create Focus

Identify the top three things you want to focus on in your life. For each thing identify what you need to do over the next year to achieve it. Set a plan.

Eliminate Impediments

What is holding you back from being the best you can be? Answer this question and let go of what no longer serves you.

Your external leadership skills need a strong foundation within. Personal leadership can provide that foundation. Change within will lead to change without.

Credits: Ann Vanino

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