Finding positives, even in the face of global crisis, is a key feature of developing self leadership. If you have been able to work remotely, or have spent some time on furlough, during Lockdown you may have accidentally got a taste of self leadership – and found that you rather like it!


Self leadership is about knowing yourself well, living authentically and having the skills to take care of your whole being. You can set your own goals, self motivate, pull yourself through challenges and communicate yourself well into order to work harmoniously with others.

“The practice of intentionally influencing your thinking, feeling and actions towards your objective/s”. – Andrew Bryant, defining self leadership

Rather than the old paradigm of helping others to achieve goals and work together, self leadership is all about being the best possible captain of your own ship before you even start thinking about hiring a crew. Learning to be an excellent self leader makes leading others even easier. Switch it around and only learn to lead others without working on yourself and you could find out that you have a whole lot of gaps in your abilities.


In order to know yourself and live authentically, the key ingredient is time. Time to think, to evaluate, to set new intentions and to try new ways of being to see what works for you. One thing that the pandemic seems to have gifted people is that precious thinking time.

If you’ve had any of the following thoughts, you may indeed be awakening your own power as a self leader:

I’m saving so much time by not commuting…I’d like to work from home after Lockdown, so that I have more time and energy.”

“I’ll take a break now and work a bit later to finish it off. I work better in chunks or doing things flexibly.”

Taking a walk or half an hour outdoors each day has really refreshed me and cleared my mind.”

“Spending so much time at home has helped me pick up hobbies that I’m loving.”

“Now that I’m with [spouse / housemate] all the time I’m realising how [much / little] we have in common. I’m revaluating how to relate to them.”

“I’m enjoying finding new creative ways to spend time with people. Online board games, home discos or even just talking about things in a different way.”

These utterances may seem insignificant, but they are indicative of the emergence of effective self leadership. You may be becoming more self aware and recognising:


Many self leaders in-the-making have glimpsed an opportunity during Lockdown; gaining an insight into who they are and what they want. This slow awakening is only the start of the journey.

Remaining the captain of your own ship post Lockdown

  1. Capture your insights – find a way to record the things you have learned about yourself. How do you like to work, what lifts your mood, what hobbies do you enjoy? You may want to keep it in a journal, a vision board or jot it on your computer. Make sure it is somewhere you can go back to as a reminder.
  2. Solidify your priorities – you may have realised how much you value work, family, a friendship, alone time, exercise. Whatever it is, commit to it. If you’ve discovered the value of daily meditation, then find a way to keep it in your life when you go ‘back to normal’.You have more power than ever to negotiate your own timetable now you know how much can be done remotely and can use regained time in ways that matter to you.
  3. Make time for thinking and changing – work out how to maintain your thinking time. Perhaps a nightly journal, going to coaching groups, quiet meditation time or even a deeper and more reflective discussion with a friend would support you in maintaining this space. Remember, thinking alone can be powerful, but acting on those ideas for change is where the real magic happens.

Remember, don’t feel guilty if you have enjoyed Lockdown; take time to understand why it’s been a positive experience for you and own it. It’s ok if you’re saying “Actually, I’m doing great” or “It was tough at first, but now I’m really enjoying Lockdown” when others ask how you are handling the situation. Emerging from adversity as a better person and feeling more connected to who you are and the things you love; that’s the mark of a powerful self leader.

If you want to continue your self leadership journey for a more authentic lifestyle then get in touch. The Self Leadership Initiative provides bespoke training and coaching to help teams uncover what really matters.