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The Foundation of Good Leadership

"Leadership is influence" Who is the toughest person to lead? What are the keys to lead yourself?




One myth of leadership is that in order to become a leader the person needs to be in a position to lead. That is far from the truth. I firmly believe that leadership is more than a position or title. Leadership is influencing others through example, inspiration, and courage.


In order to do that well we need to lead from a place of internal integrity, otherwise is not sustainable. Let's reflect on this question: “Who is the toughest person to lead?”

Of course – you are the toughest person to lead! The person I have the most difficult time leading is myself. This is a full-time job. I have to motivate myself. I have to discipline myself. I have to protect my integrity. The list is endless.

Why is it this way? My friend and mentor John Maxwell says there are two reasons:

(1) We don’t see ourselves as we see others.

(2) We are harder on others than we are on ourselves.


Human nature equips us with the ability to size up everyone in the world except ourselves. It is remarkable how most people lack awareness. Just recently I was working with a client, he had entrusted me with 200 of his employees and after our work together, he asked for a detailed evaluation of each person. We sat together reviewing the report and he said to me – these 8 people need more help – as you have assessed them, they lack a realistic perspective of who they are. They lacked basic awareness. Now, send me a proposal to provide individual coaching to see if we can help them advance in their awareness.


No matter what you do—whether you’re a teacher, an attorney, an artist, a healthcare professional, or in ministry—you can develop certain leadership habits that will take your leadership to the next level!


The key to leading others effectively is to first lead yourself well. You can’t have one without the other. By cultivating your best self you'll be poised to bring out the best in your team.


To lead yourself well, you need to:


Acknowledge your value. No matter what happened in the past or what your present surroundings look like, nothing can change the fact that you are one-of-a-kind and irreplaceable!


Resist the path of least resistance. Doing the bare minimum leads to, at best, mediocrity. Your willingness to go above and beyond will infuse a spirit of excellence into all you do. And by embracing a positive, can-do attitude you’ll transform even the dullest tasks into something you can feel proud of.


Grow through adversity. When faced with challenges, refuse to play the victim. Instead, view these experiences as opportunities for growth. When you say YES to leading yourself well, you’ll become more effective in your home, workplace, and other spheres of influence. It’ll create a positive ripple effect that will resonate in all areas of your life!


Next Step: Take this free Leadership Self-Assessment at www.MaxwellLeader.com

I would love to discuss the answers with you.


To Your Success,



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