I teach leadership classes almost every week and almost year round. It is my favorite topic to teach about. I have taught these classes for so long there are phrases that I use in the class repeatedly that have become known by most in our church, and have been given the title “deeisms”. One of them is “everything rises and falls on leadership”, meaning the success of any organization is dependent on the quality of leadership it has. Which is why I teach leadership classes so much, the more trained, qualified leaders our church has the healthier we will be. Another “deeism” is you can’t lead others until you can lead yourself. Self leadership is basically self-control. Most think self-control is simply gritting your teeth and clenching your fists and just doing it. Self-control is much more a learned skill than it is effort, it is learning how to effectively lead yourself to do the things you want to do and become the person you want to become. When you have honed the skill of leading yourself you will do a good job of leading others.
A major part of the skill of self leadership is self discovery. Who are you? What are your strengths and weaknesses? What is your temperament and your spiritual gifts? What are the signs that your emotional gas tank is getting to empty? How do you fill your emotional gas tank? Good leaders of others and themselves have spent a lot of time reflecting about life, principles, themselves, and God.
Probably the most ignored principle or the one most are ignorant of in self-leadership is “self-control or self-leadership is impossible by yourself”. So the term self-control and self-leadership are misleading terms, because “self” can’t do anything successfully or well. Self-leadership is a team sport, that is you need help to lead you. God created us interdependent. That is the way we are by design, which simply means we can’t succeed without help. Proud, independent people will not accomplish anything of significance and will not grow. The most successful people, the best leaders, and those with great self-control are those who have learned well the line, “could you help me, please.”