Before leading anyone else, you must have a sense of autonomy at the very least. Steve Magness defines autonomy like this: “Some sense of control over how we spend our time and energy.” I love this definition. It’s flexible enough for anyone but still gives you the bottom line.
To what extent do you control your time and energy?
That’s a vitally important question for any of us, but possibly more so for leaders. In other words, when it comes to leaders:
How much of a self-leader are you? To what extent do you lead yourself before anyone else?
I also enjoy Steve Magness’ new book Do Hard Things – why we get resilience wrong, and the surprising science of real toughness.
Easing into this new paradigm of toughness comes naturally to me I must admit. There is some good evidence in that book for things I could only sense. Being a trapeze artist, lone traveler, and woman, three things I was (together) for a long time, that have you contemplate about toughness, resilience, and your ability to endure. I did keep at it for 25 years, which says something, I guess, I wonder what 🙂
The new paradigm started glaring at me with Jenney Tough‘s book Solo – what running across mountains taught me about life. She seems to portray this new paradigm quite well in her book.
Admitting one’s weaknesses, challenges, and outright limits sometimes, is a foundational aspect of it, I guess.
Which, in choosing professions such as the circus, sports competition, traveling alone as a woman, doing things people don’t usually do… Are a must. In order to be able to track progress, when you get some going, you need to be very clear on where you start training.
These are all professions where you have to learn to lead yourself first, before anyone else.
So how’s your self-leadership going? Let us know in the comments below.