Leadership skills for the socially distant

Leadership skills are usually the domain of work awaydays, school insets and high-level training courses. If I were to suggest that someone needs to improve their leadership skills, many would shrug their shoulders unenthusiastically.

  • I don’t have, or want, a leadership position
  • I wouldn’t want the responsibility
  • I just want to do my job and walk away at the end of the day
  • I hate managers, I certainly wouldn’t want to be one
  • I have enough trouble with my own problems

In spite of this, leadership is the one skill that you exercise every day, whether you like it or not. We are all leaders, and leadership starts with ourselves. Self-leadership is the most important leadership skill.

Every time you make a decision; whenever you choose to get up in the morning; when you start work; when you do anything, you are leading yourself. Even if you decide to stay in bed and forget the world; you are leading yourself down a certain path. Recognising the importance of self-leadership is the first and most important leadership skill. That’s why when we look at certain international leaders today, we feel anxious about what will happen in the world. When a leader shows lack of self-control, self-respect and empathy with those he or she is leading, we feel threatened.

Leadership skills in Lockdown

At the current time, we are in a very unusual situation, and now is a great time to demonstrate that leadership. The more we lead ourselves, the greater influence we have over our future, and the more you will be respected by others.

Are you:

  • A runner? Stop running if you have to, or take a different route.
  • Cyclist? Slow down. Stop. Get off your bike and walk.
  • Walker? Step off the path if you can. Retrace your steps.

What you are doesn’t give you greater importance. Who you are doesn’t give you priority. Age is irrelevant, and so is race. It doesn’t matter who lives where, or what you are wearing, or how much you earn. The greatest leaders are the ones who respect others and themselves.

Always be one to step aside for others. Choose to assume the responsibility and not to be the judge of others’ actions.

If another person steps aside for you, they are being a leader too, so respect that and thank them.

Choose your actions, not according to the rules, or the latest guidance, but according to how your actions could affect yourself, your loved ones, and those you have not even met, but may be at risk or making a great sacrifice.

Follow these rules for yourself, and tell no-one, and I guarantee you will feel more in control, less frustrated and have greater self-respect and confidence in life.

Robert Sanders is a therapist and life coach, supporting people in their present and helping them create their future.