You can't lead others if you can't lead yourself. Some of the best leaders in the world are those who are able to personally lead every area of their lives. I must say that I am not there fully yet. That is why John Maxwell also talks about different levels of leadership but that is another lesson. Going from being a good leader to a great leader is a process. Good to Great leaders know how to lead internally first. People will follow you when they see the internal strength that you or I might release.
You can never conquer the mountain. You can only conquer yourself." — Jim Whittaker
"Talent without discipline is like an octopus on roller skates. There's plenty of movement, but you never know if it's going to be forward, backwards, or sideways." — H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Author"It is not enough to have great qualities; We should also have the management of them."
— La Rochefoucauld
"Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody else expects of you. Never excuse yourself. Never pity yourself. Be a hard master to yourself-and be lenient to everybody else." — Henry Ward BeecherBeing a leader means holding yourself to the highest standard. You are never satisfied within. You always are learning. You always are searching for the next thing. You always desire more from the Lord. Self leadership means never making excuses for yourself, never getting on a pity party, and always being hard on yourself and lenient to others. It takes a lot to look deep within yourself. Self leadership is important but self-deception is a slippery serpent. Self-deception can cripple a leader for a long time if he or she does not address it immediately. There is not one person on the planet that can not succumb to self-deception.
"So we really deceive ourselves and make emotional decisions and when we end up where those decisions take us, we are just baffled as to how this can happen to us. Well, it is the direction we chose."--------Andy Stanley
When you are leading yourself; you can not afford to be led by your emotions. Leading emotions can bring you down an uncertain path. Sometimes you have to step away from the situation and sometimes you have to choose to not make any decisions at all until things settle.
The bible has a plethora of verses which give us direction into the realm of self leadership.
Romans 12:8 If it is encouraging others, devote yourself to giving encouragement. If it is sharing, be generous. If it is leadership, lead enthusiastically. If it is helping people in need, help them cheerfully.
Titus 1:8 Instead, he must be hospitable, love what is good, use good judgment, be fair and moral, and have self-control.
1Peter 4:7 The end of everything is near. Therefore, practice self-control, and keep your minds clear so that you can pray.
Proverbs 1:2 - "for attaining wisdom and discipline; for understanding words of insight; for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair..."
Self-leadership must come from within; it is birthed from the spiritual trait called Self- Control. How you lead yourself can determine how you lead others efficiently. God is looking for those who are willing to lay down all for others. Being a leader is not about getting your name out there for all to see. It is not about being at the front or being the most talked about. It is something more trivial than that. If you have never been in godly leadership; you are clueless of what I am talking about. Leadership is about serving others and laying down your life for them. Sometimes those you lead will be grateful and sometimes some will develop ambenisha of the great things you have done for them. It does not matter either way. You are a leader because you love the Lord and you love serving his people.
How should we develop a life of self-leadership?
1. Keep a broken spirit.
2. Be brutally honest with yourself.
3. Consider all accusations even those which come from the people who despise you.
4. Surround yourself with those who will not tell you what you want to hear.
5. Keep your emotions in check when making decisions.
6. Never see yourself greater than what you are.
7. Always learn. Keep learning in life this is a good key to being a Great leader.
8. Build the character of Christ within you.
9. Set goals for your life. If you don't know how to get to the waterhole; you can lead others for a drink.
10. Be a person of change.
As we lead the people of God, we must always remember to lead ourselves first.