10 Tips for Managing Yourself (Self Leadership)
In the business world it is very important that you manage yourself well. Those that do will have the opportunity to become the leaders of tomorrow. This is one way of creating a more meaningful work experience today for yourself and others. Managing yourself means learning how to work with others in a productive and profitable way. It also means being focused on making your practice more profitable, keeping your clients happy, and doing excellent work. This takes constant self-monitoring and self-managing. Here are some tips to do this:
- Be self-aware. Self-awareness is essential to understanding what leadership style works for you. As you come to understand where your strengths are, what you enjoy doing, and where your passions are, you are better able to develop an authentic leadership style. The first person you will lead is yourself!
- Be accountable for yourself. Install an advisory board or executive team to help you make good strategic decisions and give you feedback on your own performance. Make a decision on what is important to do and then make sure you do it. Ask board to review what you have done and provide more feedback.
- Be trustworthy and extend trust to your employees. (This means you must have good hiring practices!) When you are trustworthy and trust your employees you earn their loyalty and strengthen your practice.
- Take a time-out each day. Put a “Power Hour” sign on your door and don’t let anyone disturb you. Meet with your staff prior to doing this so they know what you are doing and how to address client and other calls. You need uninterrupted time to get your work done well and in a timely way.
- Recognize when you’ve outrun your abilities. When one lawyer I worked with saw that her skills were not adequate to manage the cash flow of her company, she hired an accountant and bookkeeper to create meaningful reports for her to review each week.
- Open yourself to being transformed. Listen, really listen, to employees. Let go of old notions of leadership (managing by fear, for example).
- Be a servant leader. Consider it your responsibility to serve employees and customers. Just thinking this way will make you a different person!
- Pursue hobbies and interests outside your business. They’ll provide relaxation and may inspire creative ideas that you can feed back into the business.
- Take a vacation or a sabbatical. (But first, make sure you leave the practice in good hands!) Too many people skip vacation time. It along with hobbies and other interests provides relaxation time. You will find that creativity comes during this down time.
- Get a coach. Coaches are skilled at helping you to understand what works for you, where what your strengths are and how to move yourself and your practice to the next level.
To write this list I used some material at the SCORE website. While this is a website for people who have a business there is lots of great material for those working in a practice or business, the government or a nonprofit. As many of you know I am a SCORE Business Counselor. SCORE is an organization in the United States that is part of the Small Business Administration and counsels small businesses at no charge.
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