Are We Too Focused on Teaching Leaders to Lead Others…

…and not themselves first?

Danielle Goodrum

“Leaders are entrusted to lead the business and its people; however, the key to do so successfully is to lead self-first. Leaders must commit to their personal growth and development to lead effectively and achieve results for their company,” Angelique Marcelli, Customer Success Manager at getAbstract, says. She emphasizes that “leaders should embrace a learning mind-set and find opportunities in every challenge.” 

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It very much plays into the notion that you can’t pour from an empty cup: If leaders are unwilling or unable to develop themselves first, they will be less capable of leading their teams.

Organizations encourage leaders’ self-development by implementing leadership and development programs that help them identify their values, strengths, opportunities for growth, and motivators. In “The Simple Reason to Learn to Lead Yourself First,” Joshua Spodek explains: “Learning to lead others is enticing and alluring. We feel powerful. More followers enable us to do more. Without direction and purpose, power and action are as likely to lead us astray as where we want to go.”

Marcelli goes on to further explain that “leaders must also improve their skills and identify skills gaps to prepare for a constantly changing world. Companies are investing in their future by supporting their leaders’ growth journey with timely resources.” Sure, it is not always easy to identify your gaps. But leaders can become increasingly self-aware by gathering feedback from people they trust, practicing self-reflection, journaling, seeking out new opportunities, and becoming clear about their goals and values. Also, having an open view of the world around them allows them to identify growth opportunities in their journeys.

With leading comes power. Learning how to lead self-first puts you in a better position to lead in a way that inspires, influences and motivates your team to be the best they can be:

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