6 Self-Management Skills for Fundamental Leadership
Emotional Intelligence (EI or EQ) is an essential topic in leadership circles. EI at its core is mastery over feelings. Once a person masters his own feelings, he can then better connect with others. Today we look at self-management (one part of EI) and how it intersects with leadership.
Self-management is “the taking of responsibility for one’s behavior and well-being” (Google). You can’t have leadership without self-mastery (or management). They go hand in hand. How can you manage others if you can’t manage yourself? This is vitally important for current and future leaders.
So here are 6 self-management skills for fundamental leadership:
- Self-Control – Instead of just reacting, self-control enables leaders to act strategically. Self-control allows a good leader to stay clear-headed during a crisis or stress. If you control your thoughts, you think straight. If you think straight, you make sound decisions. When you control your temper, it allows you to observe the facts from a non-emotional viewpoint. Controlling your fear allows you to visualize successful outcomes as opposed to failures. Control your speech by applying the already mentioned principles to your spoken language – don’t speak in anger or fear.
- Trustworthiness – Trust influences communication, information sharing, cooperation, and productivity. A good leader creates trust by their daily behavior and actions. Leaders should also operate from a trust-based perspective. Give trust freely to your followers versus making them earn it.
- Conscientiousness – A conscientious leader values time and effort. They dedicate themselves to the tasks at hand. They have a strong concern for the law and morality. Conscientious leaders have high ethical standards and expect others to as well.
- Adaptability – How well a leader embraces change can be a vital measure of effectiveness. Not only do leaders have to embrace the change, many times they have to sell the change. Successful leaders understand that standard operating procedures become outdated and ineffective without innovation.
- Achievement Orientation – Achievement oriented leaders strive to make great things happen. The desire burns deep within. Leaders then connect that passion and drive to the desire of their individual team members to motivate them. Only then can these teams meet challenging goals and perform at the highest levels. The result of achievement-oriented leadership is the massive and sustainable productivity.
- Initiative – Good leaders don’t wait for someone to tell them what to do. They take the initiative to find and solve problems. They meet and create challenges. They find new ways to do more. They take charge of their own learning. They lead by example.
Most, if not all, strong, successful leaders have the above-mentioned characteristics. It’s guaranteed that they didn’t start out that way. Becoming an effective leader takes a lot of self-awareness and self-discipline. If you want to improve your leadership, then research ways to gain self-control. Work on demonstrating trustworthiness. Be a conscientious leader. Improve on your adaptability by embracing the changes that are inevitable. Take the initiative to become achievement-oriented.