To Lead Others, Know Yourself First

Self-knowledge is the first step to becoming a good leader | Image: iStock

To be able to lead others, you must first know how to lead yourself. The first step to becoming a great leader is self-knowledge. If a person can make their abilities flourish, they can reach extraordinary heights. In several of his books, Professor Santiago Álvarez de Mon proposes a voyage of personal discovery. By following his advice, you will learn to know yourself better and to develop your leadership abilities.

  • Discover your gift

It’s important that you discover those qualities in which you excel and those that all people, without exception, possess. Everyone can succeed if they can discover their talents. Asking others can help you to identify your strengths and also your weaknesses.

  • Believe in yourself

Sometimes we don’t aim higher because not even we believe in our immense possibilities. Trust in your capacity for logical and rigorous thought, for learning and taking decisions. Listen to your inner voice and to your heart. Looking after your self-esteem means knowing yourself, respecting yourself and accepting yourself.

  • Don’t impose limits

Sometimes winning an impossible game starts by refusing to recognize that it’s impossible. When talent and the human spirit are set free, it has been well demonstrated that the only limits are those that we create for ourselves.

  • Enjoy what you do

Talent has to be accompanied by liking what you do. Be enthusiastic about what you do and give yourself over to it. The best professionals have the ability to get “in the zone” when they are doing their work, that magical moment of peak performance when everything seems possible. When they achieve it, effort is replaced by intuition and everything flows.

  • Work hard

Getting “in the zone” requires lots of hard work. Only those prepared to invest time and energy can reach the heights. The greatest – the Mozarts, the Pavarottis, the Federers, the Gasols – understand better than anyone that the more they practice, the more talented they are.

  • Be patient

All success requires hard work, sacrifice and time. Results are frequently only obtained in the long term. Don’t be in a hurry: give yourself time to think and reflect, to formulate questions and to look for answers.

  • Find a good mentor

In many cases, a mentor is an essential figure for the most talented to find their path and develop their full potential. Accompanied by a good mentor that guides you and encourages you to keep improving, your professional career will have no limits.

  • Be humble

Don’t believe that you are better than others, and don’t think that you are irreplaceable. Humility is a fundamental quality for an executive; it allows you to manage success, pick yourself up after a fall, question and discover talent.

  • Take charge of your decisions

Personal attitude is decisive when it comes to facing life’s events and challenges. Faced with any event or circumstance, you can react in a mechanical and impulsive manner, or choose a response guided by observation, reflection and mastery of the situation. Deciding which attitude to embrace is a major decision and depends entirely on you.

  • Always ask yourself questions

Questions are not dangerous, nor is doubt necessarily destructive. Paradoxically, those who knows, ask; those who understand, listen. Asking yourself questions is the way to continue getting to know yourself and finding out what’s changing within you.

If you’re looking for personal development that allows you to grow professionally, in the IESE Executive Education programs you will find your greatest ally. With its courses, you can improve your executive abilities, optimize your knowledge and develop your leadership skills.

» BIBLIOGRAPHICAL REFERENCES

  • Álvarez de Mon, Santiago (2010) Con ganas, ganas. Plataforma Editorial.
  • Álvarez de Mon, Santiago (2007) No soy Supermán. Prentice Hall.
  • Álvarez de Mon, Santiago (2005) La lógica del corazón. Ediciones Deusto.

This post is also available in: Spanish

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