Do you want to improve your life with good self-leadership?

Serena
10 min readNov 5, 2021

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Before you lead anything, you must have great self-leadership skills because it‘s a fundamental skill that we all need to have. Now I am going to describe the 7 rules of self-leadership related to the real-life examples so that you could understand them very well. These rules are from the book “ The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” written by Stephen R.Convey. I referred to this book, but now I am going to give real-life examples related to these rules.

1. BE PROACTIVE

This rule simply means that you are in charge of yourself. You need to take responsibility for your actions. You can’t keep blaming everything because of your wrongdoing. Proactive people recognize that they are reason-able using proactive language — I can, I will, I prefer.

Steve Jobs got fired in 1985 and he said “ Getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me”. He didn’t blame any other people and he did even produce the Pixar animation. It’s important that you need to be proactive while leading yourself.

2. BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND

This rule simply means that to focus time and energy on things that can be controlled in your own way. You are not responsible for everything that cannot be controlled in your own way. Sometimes, it’s okay not to be okay. So the question that pops up here is “ Who do you want to be when you grow up?” You need to decide carefully. If your decisions are not leaning against the right path, every step you take gets you to the wrong place faster. This rule is also called mental creation. You need to create who you are and who you want to be in your life carefully in your mindset. If you don’t make a conscious effort to visualize who you are and who you want to be in your life, then you empower other people and circumstances to shape you and your life by default.

Let’s look at real-life examples.

The first one is Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook. He has recently announced that he is going to change the Facebook name to metaverse which is a place where they can connect to people and share experiences. He said, “ it’s the next chapter for the internet and he wants to feel present with the people he cares about.” Metaverse just works with a pair of glasses that totally goes to a virtual world. So he begins with the mind of creating Facebook and innovating metaverse.

The next one is Whitney Wolfe Herd. We mostly know the world’s billionaires especially men. So what about women? Do we actually know? She, Whitney Wolfe Herd is the youngest self-made woman billionaire who is a founder of Bumble, an online dating app. At first, she worked in Tinder, an online dating app. She was a co-founder of Tinder. It was successful because of her superb marketing. Later she accused two of her male co-founders of harassing her. Also, they removed her title of co-founder. It was the time when she was only 24 years old. It was totally devastating for her. However, finally, she found an answer. She said “ We have our social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter that are not spaces built for women. So she created a virtual dating app called Bumble where women are encouraged to make the first move. BOOM! It’s incredibly successful. Over 80% of the employees in the company are women. So she begins with the end of creating Tinder and innovating Bumble.

Whitney Wolfe Herd

3. PUT FIRST THING FIRST

We called this rule a physical creation after we made mental creation according to the second rule. This rule says to live a more balanced existence by recognizing that not doing everything that comes along is okay. You need to do things from the most to the least important things. Please remember, you are the first priority of yourself. You need to learn how to say NO effectively. For that one, I want to give my real-life example.

When I was young, I was too naive to everyone. Sometimes I know that I was too busy to do the other’s stuff. However, when somebody asked me to hang out with or to give a hand, I inevitably said YES and did whatever they want to do. Later when I grew up, I told the truth to them and yes, I learned effectively how to say no. When you give yourself as a first priority, it’s fine to do the things that you like in your spare time. However busy you are, just give time to do your favorite things at least one hour a day so that you will be amazed at how meaningful your days are.

4. THINK WIN-WIN

This rule can work effectively with other people to achieve great results. We called this a quick-fix technique. In our society, we learn to base our self-worth on competitions and comparisons. But this rule is not like that. It’s all about cooperation. In other words, it’s a frame of mind and heart that constantly seeks mutual benefits in human interactions. These undermentioned examples can give you a vibe of this rule. They both think win-win not only for themselves but also for other people with the mindset of not giving up.

Jacinda Arden

An example that matches with this rule is Jacinda Arden which is the Prime Minister of New Zealand. Can you believe that she is the leader that everybody wants to have in their country because of her leadership through empathy? When you think about politicians, you probably think that empathy is not the first thing to consider for them. Well, for her, yes it is. In March 2020, she hosted a Facebook live ahead of New Zealand’s lockdown. She apologized for her casual dress and she explained that she put her child to bed and she wants to make sure that everything is okay. She showed her genuine emotions and the people have listened. This woman led her country covid free in just seven weeks. Most politicians are bad because of their egos. They feel too good to listen to the common people. At that point, she is different. She never puts herself first. She really listens with kindness, collaboration, and positive language. So that’s why, all of the crises that the country was facing, volcanic eruptions, terrorists, and the pandemic didn’t stop her from winning. Therefore, she is one of the best politicians in the world that everyone wants to have in their country.

Mr.Bean

Another great example is Mr. Bean. Just looking at his face will make you laugh. But do we actually know his real life? His name is Rowan Atkinson. He got a degree in engineering and a master's from Oxford University. We know that he is a funny guy, but in fact, he was a shy kid when he was young. He was teased by his classmates because of the way he looked and spoke. Some of his friends called the alien face who always stuttered. One of his teachers said, “ there was nothing outstanding about him.” While he was attending the university, he knew that he loves acting. But he was constantly rejected again and again because of his speaking disorder. Fortunately, he found out that he lost his stutter- he can speak fluently while he was acting. But again, he was rejected because of his appearance. So he joined the radio comedy for 10 years while hiding behind the microphone. Later, he started to develop Mr. Bean and brought it to television. So it became a global success.

5. SEEK FIRST TO UNDERSTAND, THEN TO BE UNDERSTOOD

We spent years learning how to read and write and years learning how to speak. We don’t usually learn that skill. If you’re like most people, you probably seek first to be understood to get your point across. You may sometimes ignore the other person completely, you pretend that you’re listening, but actually, you only selectively hear certain parts of the conversation that you want to hear, so you miss the whole meaning. Most people listen with the intent to reply, not to understand. So it’s important to listen carefully till you understand the whole meaning.

When you say the great listener, you probably see this man, Richard Branson.

Richard Branson

He is the founder of the Virgin group and I will explain it later. So let’s talk about his real-life story. He is a guy who always likes to take entrepreneurial risks a lot. At the age of 15, he launched a national student newspaper. Then he dropped out of school because of dyslexia. Then in 1970, he started a mail-order discount record company. When it’s time to think about the brand name, one of his friends told: “ What about Virgin?”. Because they all are teenagers and he said “ he’s the virgin to the business, So why not?” Then the Virgin started there. Afterward, he launched an airline business called Virgin Atlantic. At that time, he faced lots of challenges related to the British Airline because they are the big competitors of each other. Sometimes he launched a Promotional Balloon Trip to the Pacific Ocean for the airline business. He even sold his record company for the airline. It was a real tragedy for him. And then in 2006, he established Virgin Brands in different areas which became a huge success for him.

Multinational Venture Capital Conglomerate

The Virgin Group is a global, growth investor, spanning multiple sectors — Travel & Leisure, Health & Wellness, Music & Entertainment, Telecoms & Media, Financial Services, and Space. It’s a company that owns many small businesses, usually different from each other.

6. Synergize

Synergize simply means that innovate and problem solves with those who have a different point of you. It means two heads are better than one by highlighting teamwork, open-mindedness, and the adventure of finding new solutions to the old problems. But it doesn’t just happen on its own. It’s a process and through the process, people will share their experiences and their expertise to become more valuable. So as I said, a whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

lego+ Stranger Things

Do you know that 2,287 piece lego set is a recreation of the most iconic scene from the hit TV series ‘Stranger Things? One pieced together, you can literally flip this set upside down. For the lego, it is rated for 16+, aiming for teens and adults. On the other hand, 31% of people between the age of 18 and 29 watched every episode of stranger things. So this is a successful collaboration for the two audiences. Moreover, there are other collaborations like McDonald's and Burger King, Uber and Spotify.

7. Sharpen the Saw

This rule is all about seeking continuous improvement by preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have. You can create a beautiful life atmosphere by producing a balanced amount in these 4 areas.

  1. Physical
  2. Social/ emotional
  3. Mental
  4. Spiritual

For the physical part, you need to practice eating all kinds of food and exercising for your body. For the social/emotional, make sure you are a social butterfly- to have good connections and interpersonal skills with all the people. For the mental, you need to train your mindset to be kind and gentle by learning and reading books. The last one Spiritual means giving time for your mindset to get in touch with nature and arts, and keep calm by meditation.

For this rule, I want to give my real-life example. We don’t usually have time for our bodies because we are too busy with our works. If we have time, we probably become couch potatoes- spending time by watching TV all the time. It’s not good for us at all. In fact, when I grew up with maturity, I understand these are the essential things for all human beings no matter who you are, which religion, nationality, you belong to. So I started to train physically by eating healthy foods and doing exercise 45 minutes a day. For social, I am an ambivert, so it’s not too hard for me to establish a good relationship. For mental, I read books and learned the skills that are necessary for my career. The last one is actually what I don’t usually do. But recently I have been trying to do meditation and give some time to myself alone to create a safe environment for me- no judgment, no criticism allowed at that time. Later I found out that it was quite amazing for me. I can’t even imagine it. I become more patient, be able to reduce my stress easily, and that are incredible outcomes for me.

In conclusion, these 7 rules of self-leadership are super effective when you apply them in your real life. Sometimes, we may forget to become an expert in self-leadership because we all may lead to some people, some organizations, and some teams. But please remember, all these leadership skills started right here — self-leadership. All in all, I want to conclude my article by showing a video about the 7 habits of highly effective people so that you all can get a deeper understanding of this.

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Serena

Here, I mostly wrote about what I have learnt from my professors generally related to business and my perspectives to those lessons.