Self-Leadership Makes a Great Leader

What does self-leadership have to do with being a great leader? It is where great leadership starts. In this TEDx Talk

Lars Sudmann gives an entertaining look into why self-leadership is so important, and how we can improve our self leadership. These tools are rooted in history, reaching back at least to Marcus Aurelius who said “The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.”

The three-step process described by Sudmann is Self-Awareness, Self-Reflection, and Self-Regulation. With Self-Awareness it is important to do a “character traits check” in which you think of the worst leader you ever had, determine which trait made them the worst, and then ask yourself how you would rank your own performance as a leader in regards to that trait. Once you have come to terms with this, in order to stay focused on improvement, you must then incorporate Self-Reflection daily, where you take a few minutes and reflect on the challenges you are going to face that day, and think about how the leader you want to be would take on those challenges. Moving on from here it is important to work on Self-Regulation and Reframing, so that you can be in control of your reactions to difficult situations and lead others how you would want to be led. When faced with a difficult situation, reframing is used to pause and determine how important that issue is. Usually our initial reaction is much more intense than the final reaction if we incorporate reframing first.

Sudmann argues that if we as leaders embrace these methods for self-leadership, over time we will be able to achieve a leadership Utopia. Which elements of self-leadership can you use more work with? Can you describe the worst leader you ever experienced, and are their undesirable traits present in your leadership style? If so, how do you plan to use these tools to improve your own self-leadership and your effectiveness as a leader? Your response may benefit other business leaders and we encourage you to share your comments. We also invite you to join our newsletter for further discussion at

August 20, 2019