Being a good leader of others starts with leading ourselves and yet, it’s still not a commonly discussed topic. If we use the same definition as leadership but flip it to self, this is what it looks like: Self-leadership is influencing yourself to believe in a vision while creating a sense of purpose and direction for yourself.

In a quest to help my clients (and myself!) be better self-leaders, I created the Self-Leadership Map with nine strategies. In this culmination of a nine-post series, you get to pull together what you’ve learned about yourself. If you want to read or reread the previous eight posts, they’re all together on the Self-Leadership Map web page. Even if you haven’t read all the blog posts, you’ll find the essence of the Self-Leadership Map below. You can use this to support yourself in staying focused on what matters most.

Touchstone Foundation
These touchstones will repeatedly keep you grounded and inspired.

  • Annual Theme: What is my focus for the year? Write a word, phrase, or sentence.      
  • Core Values: Who am I when I’m at my best? What influences hard decisions? Write 2-5 values.         
  • Purpose/Why: What is the belief or cause that drives me? Write a phrase or sentence.
  • Love Notes to Self: What will I remind myself of when times get rough? Write 2-5 words, phrases, or sentences. 

Wholehearted Being
This is fuel for your motivation. Self-care and awareness produce energy to keep moving forward.

  • How will I take care of myself?  Write 1-3 for each area.
    • Intellectually
    • Physically
    • Emotionally
    • Spiritually     
  • Which character traits describe how I want to show up at my best at work? Write 1-5 words.                 
  • Which character traits describe how I want to show up at my best at home? Write 1-5 words

Near & Far Vision
Envision what you truly want in the near-term and long-term.

  • What do you want? (Use the time periods of 30 days, 90 days, 12 months, 5 years, 10 years.)           

Decisive Goals
Choosing a limited number of goals will provide focus.

  • What will I do to achieve my vision? (Use the time periods of 30 days, 90 days, 12 months, 5 years, 10 years.)

Consistent Action
Tenacious tiny steps are what leads to accomplishing big goals.

  • What practices or habits will I do to support myself so I will reach my vision? Write 1-3 for each period: daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually.

Energizing Support
Connecting with people who support you can bring resources, collaborations, joy, and more.

  • Who supports me in the following areas?
    • Tackle problems & challenges
    • Understand business & people
    • Colleagues
    • Core work and/or hired team
    • Which groups do I want to join and be actively involved in?
    • How will I remind myself to reach out when I want and/or need help?

Pesky Obstacles
Notice what’s getting in your way. For example, physical space (external) or negative self-talk (internal).

  • What is getting in my way externally?  Write as many as you want.
  • What is getting in my way internally?  Write as many as you want.
  • How might I mitigate or eliminate these obstacles?  Write 1-3 strategies.                                                                                                                                                                 

Appreciative Celebration
When we celebrate, it teaches our brain to do more of what we’re celebrating.

  • How might I celebrate my small and big accomplishments? Write 1-3 strategies. 

Sustainable Ecosystem
Think of the previous eight areas as living, breathing, evolving parts of your self-leadership ecosystem. Reflect on what’s most useful for you at this stage of your life. Consider where you want to keep this information, how you want to update it, and what will support you best to stay on track.

  • What will your system look like? Consider these areas:
    • Where will I keep the information from this map? For example: print, post on the wall, digitally, or separate out the elements and keep in different places. There are no rules so do what works best for you.
    • How often will I engage with these self-leadership elements? For example: read everything weekly or monthly, and update some of the sections on a regular basis.
  • Example of a Sustainable Ecosystem:
    • Daily: Use software to track baby steps toward goals & visions.
    • Weekly: Focus on completing 30-day goals.
    • Monthly: Read the whole map to reconnect with my foundation and vision, update areas as needed, celebrate achievements with accountability partner or coach.

This is the most important part of the entire process. Create a system for leading yourself that works for you. There are no rules! Be creative. Be innovative. Be structured or be wild. Above all…first, be the leader of you! I’d love to hear at least one strategy that works best for you. Send me an email to [email protected]