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Leadership of self is the most important leadership . . . and the hardest. Here are 3 thoughts to keep in mind.

Who’s your most difficult leadership challenge? If you are honest and have at least a degree of self-awareness, you will join every good leader in realizing the most challenging leadership challenge you face is the one in the mirror.

Self-deception. Taking short-cuts. Being inconsistent. Holding others accountable when you don’t hold yourself accountable. Placing blame. Being clueless about the real issues.

Call it what you want: your biggest leadership challenge is yourself.

Here are three suggestions

  1. Live by a focused set of core values. More than lip service, core values, when carefully thought-through and lived-through, become the promises you make to yourself, your family, your employees, clients and vendors. Integrity, seeking first to understand, extending grace, humility and kindness – these types of personal core values should define how we interact with the world around us. If you want to be a better leader, it starts with being a better person
  2. Live by a focused set of priorities. My wife and I have been setting annual goals for many years now. Additionally, I have a weekly list of 24 activities that I commit to. I look at my annual goals and weekly punch list as motivation to push forward and accomplish the things I think I am supposed to accomplish. FYI – writing a weekly leadership blog is on the list!
  3. Live by a Calendar and ToDo list. I’ve seen some recent studies that indicate front-line managers and customer-facing professionals may spend as much as 60 percent of our time dealing with unexpected events. The interruptions that we didn’t know about at 7:45 this morning can consume our entire day, week, month and life! Only when we discipline ourselves to live by a calendar and punch-list of items do we wrestle control back from the urgency of those interruptions. Deal with the fire, but then get back to the list!