Self-leadership is something we all have to a degree. Leadership, by definition, sets the vision, while management implements it with processes, technology and people. This is why everyone is a born leader—even those who prefer the supporting role. We all have a vision for where we are headed. The key attributes of self-leadership are self-awareness, self-acceptance, self-management and self-efficacy—in that order. After all, how could anyone lead others without first being able to envision, inspire, have empathy, strategize, and take action for themselves first?
Here’s how self-leadership plays out in a goals and strategy planning scenario—whether this is about your New Year’s Resolutions (does anyone do those anymore?) or in your 2022 Business Strategy for killing it this year:
You Can't Build Goals On Tactics And Win
What do you want? Goals are born out of possibility, not probability. When we limit ourselves, we limit our goals. When we limit our goals, we limit our growth. Still, the audacious goals are the thing that scares us. Self-leaders get that bold goals are the only ones worth claiming, and doing so is a process of constantly adjusting course. It’s worth the journey.
If you aim small to ensure you reach your goal rapidly (for example, get that new website launched) instead of aiming big and bold (for example, double your client base or launch your new business) then you quickly descend into tactics. Not coincidentally, when you descend into tactics, the first obstacle you face is much more likely to throw you off your plan. Instead aim high and aim for the 30,000-foot view.
In my Unstoppable Goals & Strategy 5-Day Challenge, I will be taking a group of leaders through the process of setting these bold goals in a way that feels inspiring instead of overwhelming.
Identify Your Core Values And Top Priorities First
If you don’t know where you are headed…well, you know the rest. Goal-setting based on what the competitors, the market, your peers, the pundits and your mentors are doing is rarely satisfying. The reason is each of those is externally driven. Each individual and each organization has a set of inner core values and a set of top priorities. It is vital that they align. That doesn’t mean individual and organizational goals/priorities must be identical, but it does mean that goal-setting starts from within; matching up what matters to where you are headed.
Not sure what your values are? Grab your Personal Values Worksheet, and get started!
Plan to Adapt and Adjust
When you set a goal, plan to stay the course. Nothing ever goes 100% as planned. That’s why once a goal is set, the very next thing to do is assess what might get it the way. We never know for certain, but the very act of considering potential challenges demands tapping into creativity, curiosity and innovation principles that lead to vision, motivation and resiliency. If you aren’t setting a goal for the long haul, you aren’t aiming big enough to satisfy yourself. This creates a pattern of casting about for the next thing, or the sure thing, when the only sure thing is that there is no sure thing except your inner vision.
If you aren’t setting a goal for the long haul, you aren’t aiming big enough.
Set Daily Intentions And Take Micro-Steps
News flash: Goals aren’t all they are cracked up to be. Intentions are. The omnipresent daily to-do list and boxes to check are mind-numbing. Don’t get me wrong—I have one myself. However, that isn’t all I have. Each morning I review my goals; both for what I want to achieve and how I want to show up. How I show up, emotionally, mentally, physically and yes, spiritually, makes all the difference in what I get done.
Not only that, when I have clarity on my personal values and on my top priorities, I can take small, meaningful action toward that goal each and every day. Sometimes that looks like making a phone call to a possible business partner, or working on some new content. Other days it is saying no to a potentially profitable opportunity that also jeopardizes my original goal. So often we—myself included—can get distracted from what we envisioned for ourselves when an appealing (and seemingly beneficial) opportunity shows up.
The trick here is that sometimes we do need to redirect our course, or shift our goals. That’s why it is so important to know our big values and priorities, so we can assess each opportunity most effectively, rather than grasping at every option along the way.
Get A Tribe And An Accountability Team
Nothing is more difficult than trying to provide our own perspective and accountability. It puts us in a conflict with ourselves. Accountability and perspective is about support and personal awareness that creates growth. If we don’t find like-minded and empathetic collaborators as we move toward our goals, then we begin a spiral of self-judgement, criticism, disappointment and punishment of our bodies and our spirits.
Nothing is more difficult than trying to provide our own perspective and accountability.
This is why mentors, guides, and coaches (good coaches, I might add) accelerate our progress. They help us get out of our own way, and see things with a fresh perspective, while holding our vision right alongside us. They point out where we can refine our efforts to optimize results, and suggest powerful techniques to stay focused and motivated.
Celebrate Each Step, Not Just The Goal
It can sound hokey to suggest you celebrate the journey toward your goal. This is especially true if you are a high achiever who eats goals for breakfast. But hold on there, Tiger! Chew your food slowly to get the most benefit out of it. You see, goals are not the end result. Each goal simply leads to the next, and then the next. If you rush past the wins along the way, or forget to stop and enjoy the view right where you are, in the middle of your creative mess, then you are also likely to miss the full satisfaction of reaching your stated goal! Practice celebrating each micro-step every single day. It makes the destination that much richer when you get there, and it also maintains motivation when the going gets a bit rocky.
Make 2022 the year you (and perhaps your team too) hits your goals using these key self-leadership insights. Join the Unstoppable Goals & Strategy 5-Day Challenge now. It’s free, and it is a uniquely powerful approach, whether you detest setting goals, or delight in it.