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He who has conquered himself has no need for a crown or a sceptre because he who has conquered himself has conquered the world.

Swami Bhaktipada

As mentioned in my previous post, 6 Traits of Great Followers, Self-leadership is the foundation of leadership; anyone who possesses the traits listed below will have no problem achieving high results and will have little or no problem leading others effectively.

Let’s look at the traits that will make you a better leader of the most important team called “you”.


This, which is also referred to as time management, is your ability to achieve set goals on a daily basis considering the number of productive hours you have available. Every human being is gifted twenty-four hours daily, but have you ever wondered why some people achieve much more than others, given the same circumstances? What you achieve on a daily basis depends on the value you place on your time. Answering the following questions will help you begin to look at time differently and will also help you spend your time more prudently. 

Do you treat every second like a cent and every minute like a dollar?

On what and with whom do you spend your time and what value do they bring to you?

Do you just spend your time or invest it with every interaction and activity?

Do you itemise your daily activities on paper based on how much time will be allocated to each task?

Can you identify those things that constitute unhealthy interruptions and distractions during the day?

Being able to answer these questions honestly will help you say “no” to things that would disrupt your plans and make you lose focus. You cannot control time but you can control what you do with the time that you have.

Maintaining Strong values:

These are strong moral principles that a person lives by; principles that can never be compromised. It takes a high level of discipline for one to stand by certain moral principles especially when one’s comfort or safety is being threatened. Self-leadership requires that you become the captain of the ship called your life and you have the responsibility to determine the rules and regulations by which this ship operates. These values will manifest as daily habits which will culminate into your character and ultimately result in good reputation.

Taking responsibility:

Self-leadership entails that one takes full responsibility for one’s choices, actions and the outcome of both. Being able to do this is the result of self-awareness which exposes one to one’s own strengths and limitations as well as the opportunities that abound in one’s environment. When you understand that nobody is to blame for the negative occurrences in your life, it puts you under pressure to want to do the right things at the right time and with the right people. When you take responsibility for your actions, you will constantly evaluate every unpleasant situation to identify how and to what extent you contributed to the outcome that you experience. This will help you to constantly learn and grow. Every time you grow, positive change occurs.


Self-leadership manifests as results that are achieved consistently on a daily basis. Being accountable to oneself is a difficult task since one can easily slip into complacency or procrastination. It is also easy to make excuses and justify those excuses when one is the leader and the led. The level of one’s productivity on a daily basis is proof of one’s level of self-discipline. This eventually determines one’s success rate. Great leaders are result-oriented; they don’t agonise over the enormity of the task at hand. They simply get to work with the mind-set to achieve results; no matter what. If one is a high achiever, one will definitely lead a team of high achievers.

Being exceptional:

This attribute of leaders earns them massive influence. People naturally follow those who perform exceedingly beyond what is expected of a regular person.

“People follow leaders who are stronger than they are.”

John C. Maxwell

So self-leadership involves being able to go the extra mile; performing beyond expectations. Leaders do things that are outstanding, things that are spectacular. They are never satisfied with average performance. Average performance keeps them uncomfortable, as a matter of fact. They are constantly pushing boundaries, challenging the status quo and always competing against their latest performance.

Leading yourself is your first and the most important task in leading others.

Noela is an image consultant and a personal development trainer. She helps corporate organisations and individuals achieve high performance through her bespoke trainings, seminars and workshops. She is available to speak at your events.

Reach her on +234 7030514885

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IG: @noelaugwu

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This article was first published on 11th September 2019


Noela is an Image consultant, a personal development and business coach. She helps corporate organisations and individuals achieve high performance through her bespoke trainings, coaching, seminars and workshops. Reach her on +2347030514885

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