Self-Leadership – Simple Ground Rules for Leaders (part 1)

We need leaders for one predominant reason: to create results! Self-leadership is one of the elements required.

With this in mind we can define leadership as creating results THROUGH people. The key word is through in this context. There is one more angle to consider: Leadership is situational. Leaders need to acquire a comprehensive “tool set” to deal with the wide variety of challenges in the most effective fashion.

Leadership is all about connecting with the people in your organization, on your team. Here are some very basic, common-sense ground rules for leadership. You may ask yourself: “What would be the reason to document such common-sense ground rules?” Very simple… common sense is unfortunately not so common!

I have put together 8 different themes for these ground rules. Here we go with the first of eight…

Self-Discipline and self-leadership

Self-leadership is the beginning of effective leadership

Being a good leader isn’t just about what you can encourage other people to do, it’s also about leading your own performance! Effective leadership begins with strong self-leadership!

  • Being accessible: Keep an “open door” and don’t hole up in your office all day — go out and meet with your employees. Let them know that they can always come to you with problems, ideas and concerns. Always keep an open mind!
  • Being open to constructive criticism: It may not always be convenient and what you want to hear, but listening to constructive criticism gives you the chance to understand, learn and grow as a leader. You expect your subordinates to embrace critique and they should be able to expect the same from you.
  • Accepting responsibility: A key foundation of being the boss is accepting responsibility for the mistakes of all those that you lead, not just your own.
  • Recognizing that there’s always room for improvement: No matter how good you think you are, your job can always be done better. Always be willing to learn and improve.
  • Improving your skills: Learning is a lifelong process. You’re never too mature (old J ) to take a class, participate in a workshop or ask a co-worker to help you improve your own knowledge and skills.
  • Explaining things simply: Avoid big words or technical jargon just to sound smart and impress others. Your employees will understand and perform better if you explain simply and clearly what you need and expect to be done.
  • Instruct rather than order: While you may be the boss, you don’t have to be bossy. You’ll have more success if your requests are always tactfully delivered.
  • Including your staff in your plans: Don’t make your work “top secret”; after all, you can’t do it by yourself, hence let your employees know what’s going on and how they are expected to contribute.
  • Knowing your subordinates’ jobs: You never want to be caught with inferior job knowledge. This does not mean that you have to be the expert in everything but you need to have a good comprehension of what is needed.
  • Being flexible: It is perfectly fine to be firm in what you expect, but allow for flexibility in how it gets done. Encourage creativity and best practices.
  • Asking for regular feedback: Your employees and superiors can give you valuable feedback on how to improve your performance. Value and utilize this input to your advantage.
  • Understanding your limitations: You can’t be everywhere doing everything all at once. Know the limits of your time and abilities! Consequently, say no to things you know you can’t do and avoid to create wrong expectations.

If you chose to apply these simple rules of self-discipline and self-leadership you will become a more effective leader. Make them your habit and they will serve you well!

Good luck and let us know if you have any queries: write to or call (864)245-2324