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Hey, hi, Happy New Year, Happy 2021! Good riddance to the cra-cra year that was 2020 huh!

There is absolutely no denying that 2020 was as year like no other. Well, I guess unless you lived through the Spanish Flu. Which I suspect if you did, you are not very likely to be reading this blog.

Because the year was so tough on so many levels, I sincerely hope you are, as I am, enjoying this festive season down- time to relax and indulge in all the good things there are to love about summer in our beautiful big brown land.

I know I am!

But if you are anything like me, you are probably using at least some of this mental downtime for a spot of personal reflection.

Which is actually a great tool for all leaders.

Because in order to be a great leader, you first have to have a healthy concept of self-leadership.

What does self-leadership look like?

Self-leadership is all about understanding that in order to be a great leader of and for others, you first have to take care of yourself.

The elements of self-leadership include:

  • Self-care: The physical, spiritual and mental elements you build into your life to keep you happy and healthy. See beach photo above for Exhibit A of all three of mine!
  • Self-awareness: The very heart of authenticity. Knowing who we are, our strengths and our weaknesses.
  • Self-development: Embrace who you are (you rock!) but look for ways to continually evolve. Grab yourself an accountability buddy to hold you accountable to the prioritisation of your personal development.
  • Self-reflection: According to the Harvard Business Review, people who spend 15 mins per day reflecting on the day and what they have learned from it, perform 23% better after 10 days reflection than those who don’t reflect.
  • Self-management: Because at some point in your career, probably right about now (hello COVID19 challenges), how you turn up is infinitely more important than your skills and experience. So, manage your mindset and work on your EI. If you need help remembering what EI is all about, here is a cool infographic I prepared  earlier…

My favourite tools for working on my self-leadership.

  1. Understanding my Strengths

A few years ago in one of those life altering events, I discovered Clifton Strengths.

As my good mate Melitta Hardenberg, Manager of Learning & Development at Seek and a certified strengths expert, explains in this clip [Click here]:

…Those that get to utilise their strengths on a daily basis, are three times more likely to report having a higher quality of life.

If you haven’t previously conducted your own strengths assessment, then stop reading this blog, follow this link and do it now.

Sure, it will take up a good thirty minutes or so of your holiday time. But trust me, this small time investment will produce a great ROI in terms of increased self-awareness.

One of the benefits of using a strengths assessment is that the tips  the resulting report produces will be unique to you. Which means even if you share your top five strengths with my top five strengths, our reports will differ in advising us how we can best play to those strengths.

As Melitta says , those that get an opportunity to do what they do best are six times as likely to be engaged and to stay longer in organisations. What’s not to love about that!

Want to know more? The full live session interview with Melitta can be viewed here.

  1. Books

One of my favourite ways for personal development over summer, is to read books by authors who will challenge my thinking and take me out of my comfort zone.

Here are three of my personal favourites from 2020, which I read, furiously highlighted my way through, then immediately set about crafting goals and plans once I had finished reading.

Emma McQueen’s Go Getter to help raise your mojo, shift your mindset and thrive.

Holly Cardamone’s book to help you build your story (personal or professional) in a super-actionable way Tell Your Story.

Emma Issacs’ true story about jumping in and following our dreams Winging It.

  1. Ask those that know you well for some feedback.

Throughout 2020, one of the ways I kept sane was through my membership of a tribe of awesome woman called Thriving Women.

Emma McQueen’s vision when she established her first TW cohort back in 2019 was to provide a space for business women to connect, learn together and ultimately become each other’s cheer squad.

Throughout 2020 we took part in a number of workshops (virtually of course, because hello, Melbournian over here) and during those, and on other occasions, we shared what we believed were the essence of each other.

Here is a graphic showing what words my tribe used to describe me.

I’ve printed it out and hung it up in my office. Because what I have realised is that there is absolute power in learning what others see in you; if I am doubting myself for any reason, then it is a great tonic to my self-confidence when I glance at this list.

It acts as a visual reminder of my strengths as others see them – and the imposter in me can’t argue with what others see.

Such a great reminder and leveller!

Now it’s your turn.

What are you doing to look after your self-leadership this holiday season?

If you would like to talk about ways Workology Co can help you work on your self-leadership, then sure, we can do that. Once we are all back from the beach…