How To Become An Exceptional Self Leader

How To Become An Exceptional Self Leader

I was listening to Andy Stanley on a podcast a few weeks ago and I thought he made some incredible points on becoming an exceptional self leader, so I wanted to share them with you.

Andy started out by admitting he’s participated in every bad decision he’s ever made, whether it was personal, financial, budgeting, hiring – every bad decision. He says, “I was there for it!” He also pointed out we all face our greatest leadership challenges…not in the parking lot, not in the boardroom, not in the office…every morning when we face ourselves in front of the mirror!

If you’re going to create exceptional self leadership, Andy says you’ll have three crucial decisions to make:

  1. I will not lie to myself, even when the truth makes me feel bad about myself. Because the easiest person to deceive is the one staring back at you in the mirror, exceptional self leadership requires the brutal truth. As soon as you see something you want, do you start selling yourself on it? Probably, but you can’t lead yourself well when you lie to yourself. We’re all suckers for our own sales pitches in the mirror, but resist it. You can’t lead yourself well when you’re lying to yourself.
  2. I will prioritize what I value most over what I want now. When you consider self leadership, think in terms of organizational leadership. There’s always an end game…a goal. The same is true in self leadership. Where do exceptional self leaders lead themselves? They lead themselves to what they value most. You can’t lead yourself well until you discover what that is. Unfortunately, what you want now is rarely what you value most, so it creates a tension. Let’s face it: Everyone values their health and everyone wants dessert. You usually have to choose. Most of us already know what we want, but few stop and discover what they truly value. So, people often settle rather than figuring out what’s most important to them. Exceptional self leaders are those who’ve discovered what they value most. Everyone figures it out eventually, but If you discover it too late, then it can become out of reach. Start opting for the ultimate over immediate today.
  3. I will not attempt to lead myself by myself. Our friends will determine the direction and the quality of our lives. It’s a truth, and it’s something we can leverage to our benefit, or it can undermine our futures. To be an exceptional self leader, we need to surround ourselves with friends who don’t just share our interests, but who also share our values. Admittedly, in following this course of action, you may lose a friend or two. You may even find yourself looking for a new community of friends, but it’s worth it.

This is a huge deal. Making these three commitments to yourself is essential for becoming a leader worth following, with sustained leadership and continuous influence. You will be tempted every day to opt for the immediate over the ultimate. However, if you want to be an exceptional self leader, you owe it to yourself to discover and choose your long-term values over your immediate wants.

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