Don’t you hate when people say that to you? Yeah, me too; almost as much as I hate saying it J

This blog definitely falls into that category. The starting point for leading ourselves is taking care of ourselves. This is a growth area for me especially in regards to the topic of this blog – taking regular days off from our work.

Unfortunately, it is rare that I am not engaged in some form of work on my days off. To be more intentional about time off if might be helpful to keep the following in mind.

An article called The Benefits of Rest and Relaxation on the website Wings for the Heart lists several benefits of rest -- it restores our energy, repairs our bodies, calms our thoughts and improves our focus.

Over the course of my leadership career, I have found assessments to be a good tool for helping me understand why I lead and manage the way I do. As I mentioned in a previous blog, used in their proper context, assessments are good instruments to have in our leadership toolkit.

The proper context includes using such assessments along with our identity not in place of our identity.

For example, an assessment I had taken as part of a leadership class identified me as goal-oriented (versus people-oriented). So not surprisingly, I had failed to visit any of the three field locations under my supervision during the first six months of a job I held managing a training group. The group was co-located with its clients. (My excuse was that I was too busy creating a new strategy for the overall organization).

I have bought my share of books on how to become a good leader. Almost certainly they contained nuggets of wisdom; but by necessity, those books contained cookie-cutter approaches because they are designed to be generally applicable.

In addition, I grew up as a leader looking for role models (and buying books by and about them). For a while I believed that my best path to success as a leader was to emulate my role models.

Thus, my default setting when equipping leaders was to ask them to do what I was doing, find a model or a role model to emulate; sometimes I was that role model, sharing my experiences with others in order to replicate myself in them.

Mark Twain is quoted as saying, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.”

As leaders it is more difficult to engage in meaningful self-development if we don’t know what we’re after. Develop what? Why?

How do we determine our purpose (or purposes; it’s okay to have more than one) as a leader? May I suggest that purpose is often found at the intersection of What I’m Passionate About Street and What I’m Good At Boulevard.

For example, I am passionate about helping leaders translate their vision into reality.

Would you like to be an even better leader? Then be a better you.

Seems simple enough but a big hurdle to any of us becoming better is a lack of self-knowledge or self-awareness.

“Self-knowledge”, said Baltasar Gracian, a Spanish Jesuit and philosopher. “Is the beginning of self-improvement.” It is also a part of better leadership.

“People who have the self-awareness of an intentional strong identity,” says Stedman Graham. “can lead themselves to overcome obstacles in their own lives so that they can lead others in their organization toward success.” From Identity Leadership: Developing Self-Awareness in the Corporate World, retrieved from http://www.trainingindustry.com/leadership/articles/identity-leadership-developing-self-awareness-in-the-corporate-world.aspx, on January 12, 2015.