I’ve said it before, “The hardest person you will ever lead, is you.”

This idea is not new; but neither is it easy. In fact, mastery of self is the tallest mountain you will ever climb.

Back in the 1400s a scribe by the name of Thomas a Kempis wrote: “A good, devout person first arranges inwardly the things to be done outwardly … Who has a fiercer struggle than the person who strives to master himself? And this must be our occupation: to strive to master ourselves and daily to grow stronger and advance for good.”

Did you catch those words? “And this (self-leadership) must be our occupation.”

May I remind you your real job is not to be a teacher, coach, business leader, designer, musician, soldier, minister, or anything else (fill in your blank) you are paid to do.

No, your real occupation is to master yourself. And it truly is a job.

I encourage you to focus on the following 3 practices as you do the work of self-leadership today.

1. Be intentional – Expecting to end up somewhere you are not intending to go is futile. The only way to arrive at a destination is to start the trip. If today finds you struggling with self-leadership, start where you are and take a step in the right direction. 

2. Be disciplined – The D word never feels easy on the front side. Discipline, however, will always lead to growth and satisfaction, whereas, a lack of it leads to lazy regret. Make yourself do what’s right if you want to feel good about your results.

3. Be consistent – How do you cover the distance on a long trip? One mile at a time. Intentional focus, over time, can be transformative. If you want to achieve something great, simply do great things today. Today is all you have. Taking one day at a time, developing the right habits over time, and acting on them consistently will lead to greater mastery over self.

Not much has changed since the 1400s. Self-leadership is still a challenge. The same will be true going forward.

If you will make it your job to intentionally discipline yourself in a consistent way, you can win the battle and position yourself for greater impact.

Leadership Begins at Home,


What other practices lead to greater self-leadership?

Comment Below …

Author: Randy

Randy is an author, speaker, executive coach, and the CEO of InteGREAT Leadership. He invests his time encouraging leaders around the world.