Leadership 101: Lesson 5

The Importance of Managing Yourself

Before you assumed your role as a leader, did you think about your job first and foremost as leading/managing others?

Turns out the person you’re most responsible for managing every day is yourself!

Managing yourself is a critical skill in your ability as a leader. Have you ever done a self-assessment of how you manage yourself? What if others had the chance to rate you on your ability to manage yourself? Do you think you would pass with flying colors?

Here are three key skills that define you as a leader. How do you measure up?

Managing your time. Do you live and die by your calendar and your meeting requests? If you use the calendar as a guide to prepare for and arrive on time for your meetings, ready to engage, bravo! If you use your calendar only to cancel and reschedule or miss some of your meetings, you have work to do in this regard. When you routinely miss, skip or reschedule meetings with your colleagues, you’re essentially telling them they’re less important than whatever else just came up. And while this is acceptable on occasion because emergencies do come up, engaging in this manner routinely marks you as unreliable. If this is you, you have some work to do on time management.

Managing your reaction. As a leader, your team members and others are watching your reaction. Constantly. Are you the person in the room who instills confidence in the way you react to matters? Or are you the person who instills fear or panic in others. Are you a people magnet or do people prefer to stay as far away as possible from you? Do you have the maturity and the wherewithal to manage your reactions? Do colleagues trust you, or are you viewed as a wildcard and they don’t know what they are going to get? What are your tendencies? Taking a self-assessment and being honest with yourself to fully understand how you come across to others and what image you are portraying as a leader is a very valuable exercise.

Managing your life. What does managing your life have to do with being a good leader, you might ask? More than you think. Right now, do you feel like all aspects of your life are humming along moving at the right pace, or do you find that you are out of balance?  What’s out of balance? Are you all work and no play? Are you finding the time for hobbies and activities that bring you joy and energy? Or are you working so much right now that you’re resenting work? Are you taking care of yourself physically, emotionally, and spiritually? Don’t underestimate the importance of balance on your ability to be an effective leader.

This all takes practice. Practice, practice, practice. If you get off track because it was an ugly week, get back on track and choose to be better. Every investment that you make in yourself in these areas will pay dividends as you become recognized for positive leadership qualities.

Written by: Chris Ament, HR Director Consultant, ConnectedHR

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