Leading the Self, Leading Teams

To truly exemplify what it means to have leadership excellence, you must understand what it is to be led as well as lead. It is the difference between demonstrating leadership and simply having authority. There are four key levels of focus that are discussed when developing leadership excellence. We will be looking into the first two below as they form the basis of this development from which the latter two progress – Leading Self, and Leading Teams.


Leading Self

Great leaders are those who lead themselves well before leading others. Leaders that know their own goals and are capable of clarifying the roles of their direct reports, earn the respect of those on their team. Leadership training programs can help participants to build the self-awareness and emotional intelligence that will allow them to develop a deeper understanding of themselves. The use of assessment tools in leadership excellence programs highlight the level of emotional intelligence participants have and identify methods of improving or harnessing it to develop a deeper level of self-awareness.

Demonstrating the ability to lead the self suggests to others that you are someone who can hold themselves accountable. Accountability is one of the most valuable traits that a self-aware leader can possess. Senior leadership training shows that you are willing to put the work into developing your own skills, and actively making improvements in areas you may lack knowledge of. 


005a2 Leading the Self, Leading TeamsLeading Teams

Training for leadership excellence at the team level is centred around developing group dialogue skills. Establishing a form of communication that uses dialogue specific to the team helps them to have conversations that lead to effective implementation of ideas and improve performance. It ensures that everyone comes from the same place of understanding when it comes to having crucial or difficult conversations. 

Being able to communicate effectively when having difficult conversations means the potential for conflict is reduced and your interaction will be much more constructive. The Dare to Lead™ Program is a type leadership development training that teaches us to lead with clarity. One of the key ideas, ‘Clear is Kind, Unclear is Unkind,’ reinforces the idea that honesty is the most important factor in managing conflict. 


Engaging in an executive training program can help you to understand the importance of being able to lead yourself as well as lead your team. Learning to lead the self demonstrates initiative and a willingness to become a high performing team member. It provides you with a strong foundation of leadership skills should you have the opportunity to lead a team of your own. Being a great leader depends on developing an intersectional skillset of effectively leading the self and leading teams. 


How often do you practice leading the self?


About the Author: The Leadership Sphere
The Leadership Sphere helps small and medium businesses and larger organisations in Australia, in creating value through leadership. The Leadership Sphere provides a humanistic approach to the way it delivers leadership, performance and coaching services. We work with leaders and senior teams who need to gain increased clarity, build capability and ensure contribution at every level in the organisation, and enable a safe, inclusive and  high trust organisation.
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