Sometimes, we push ourselves so hard to be a great leader of others that we forget about ourselves in the process. I’ve seen leaders burn themselves out, lose their passion, and have a drop in health among other things because they didn’t lead themselves well.  Here are some tips to help keep yourself on track and truly be your own best boss. 

Cut yourself some slack

I know a lot of good leaders that treat their teams very well. They are compassionate, forgiving, and lead with empathy towards others. At the same time, that same leader is extremely hard on themselves when they fall short of a goal or don’t meet the expectations that they set upon themselves.

I know the type well. I used to be that guy!

Even if you aren’t a leader of people think about how you treat friends, family, and those you work with. It’s the same concept. Do you treat others better than you treat yourself?

Cut yourself some slack. Others aren’t expecting you to be perfect. Gibe yourself the same compassion and forgiveness that you give others. Being too hard on yourself doesn’t accomplish anything, but waste mental and emotional energy. You can dust yourself and get back out there to try harder without beating yourself up in the process. 

Map the deadends and hazards throughout your journey 

You can learn just as much from the bad as you can from the good. Reflect back on your work life and think about those supervisors that were just awful. What behaviors made them so bad? How did they treat others? What were some of the other reasons that made it such a bad experience?

Your learnings don’t have to come from a bad boss. Pull from those bad experiences that you had with other businesses, times you’ve seen someone lose their cool or made a fool of themselves, you can even pick up the “don’t dos” from TV, the news, and especially social media. 

I would say my leadership drive and behaviors balance the thought of modeling great behavior and committing to not repeating others’ sins. An example of this comes in many of the change management pieces I’ve launched. They typically start from a very personal place of “I will be the last one to experience (Insert bad experience)” or if it’s someone else “No more (Insert name)”. If I say as a mantra “No more Mike Floyds” I don’t mean that I don’t want any more Mikes. It means that I recognize a bad experience that he had, and we will drive towards a change that eliminates the scenario or the possibility going forward. 

Following this frame of reference as you continue to grow makes you a better leader to yourself and to others. 

Push yourself for personal development

Sometimes we forget about ourselves as we push others to grow and meet their career goals. Map out and plan your own development. It’s great to have long term aspirations that you want to achieve, so it’s great to think about yourself in yearly blocks as you work towards a larger goal.  How do you want to be different a year from now? What are some small things that you can work on to grow your effectiveness?  Some areas to consider include:

  • Furthering your education
  • Growing your experience in a new area
  • Increasing your depth of expertise in an area
  • Expanding your personal and professional network
  • Growing in a leadership soft skill – coaching, EQ, trust-building, etc

The servant leadership model says that your job as a leader to serve and support those that are under you instead of expecting them to serve you. That doesn’t mean you have to give all of yourself up in the process.  

Your people matter and so do you. be your own best boss and lead yourself well. You’ll take your leadership to a whole new level and have a deeper satisfaction in what you do. 

Make a better tomorrow.