If you are not leading your life to the highest possible standard, then how can you possibly lead others with conviction and in the right direction? Your authenticity and integrity demands that you walk your talk and lead by example. Begin within.

They say that the door to success does not open outward, it opens inward.  We can transform our work and our lives when we work on ourselves.

Plato said, “The first and best victory is to conquer self.”

Nelson Mandela spent 27 years incarcerated on Robin island and he spent his time working on improving himself so that when he got out he was fully ready to lead.

The 4 areas to self leadership are:

  1. Improving your mind. Start journaling, trouble shared is trouble halved, share your thoughts with you journal.
  2. Your body. This is the physical dimension, where your energy lies.
  3. Your emotions. Work on being more loving, caring, especially towards people you perceived to have wronged you.
  4. Your spirit. Work on your character.


Plato on self leadership

Here are some practical ideas for working on your self leadership:

Start finding a “Me time” hour

Get up an hour earlier that you have been doing.Win the battle of the bed.

Benjamin Franklin said “there will be plenty of time to sleep when we are dead.

It is mind over mattress isn’t it?  Getting up early gives you a psychological edge over your competition. I heard about a Japanese company who pointed out to their competitors their competitive advantage, they did this so that their competitors would focus on this competitive advantage rather than developing new ideas.

Get yourself 60 minutes of quality time while the rest of the world sleeps.  You can draw, paint, read, in the summer you can watch the sun come up, reflect on life, reflect on your mortality…

There is a tale of an indian maharaja who got up early every morning and celebrated his own funeral with music and flowers. He used to chant “I have lived fully, I have lived fully.” Simple things, effective things, this man had developed a way to connect with his mortality. Doing this is a great source of wisdom. Some call it learning how to die before you die. Sounds grim but it is effective.

The point is that your time is now. Too many people spend their best years putting things off, “next year I’ll do this & that.” What if next year doesn’t come?


Write in a journal

Record every day what you learnt from the day before, what incites you had. Write about your meetings, thoughts on conversations. Record your learning, your development. Get to know yourself.


Take care of your health

What is the point of being the richest person in the graveyard? I know several self made millionaires who are not able to enjoy their wealth because they developed horrible illnesses. Wealth is health. We take it for granted and then when it is gone we spend 24/7 trying to get it back. Join a gym, buy some gym equipment and use it at home. Get some fitness DVDs, yoga DVDs, get in worldclass health.

It will give you stamina, energy, and you will look better. Get to great physical fitness.



Don’t neglect the important things in life. What is the point in getting to your mountain top alone? Don’t lose sight of family, your health and yourself.

I heard a story about a guy in Japan who worked so hard and spent so little time at home. He got a phone call when he was at work one day from his wife and she asked him if he was coming home to celebrate his sons birthday. He asked which son, and when she told him, he said “I don’t have a son by that name.” He had actually forgotten that he had this son!!

Don’t fail to get to know your kids. They will not be kids for long.


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