Many have big dreams and aspirations about becoming influential and effective leaders. But many aspirational leaders will never be able to truly achieve that goal simply because they are unable to lead themselves.

Before you can even think about effectively leading your team, you have to ensure that you are effectively leading your own life first.  How do you do that?

The Personal and the Professional

As an effective team leader, you ask your team members to keep their personal and professional lives separate when they are on the clock.  Are you able to do the same?

Are you able to leave your personal problems at the door each day or do coworkers know that your day professionally will be solely based on how the previous evening went for you personally?  Consistently keeping your own personal and professional life appropriately separated is one way in which you can lead your life and others effectively.

Practice What You Preach

You have to practice in your life what you preach on the job in order to be an effective leader in both environments.  That is the only way to have real credibility.  Is your behavior consistent with your expectations for others?

For instance, when you become a leader, can you expect employees to be on time every day and even when they return from their breaks if you are known for being late and taking extended lunches? Simple inconsistencies turn into major credibility problems.

You Are Transparent

As a leader, it is vital you understand that you will be completely transparent to your team.  They will see right through you.  Just as you are able to study and analyze them over time as you get to know them, they are also studying and analyzing you as well as they get to know you so it is important that you are always able to reflect the traits of a solid leader on and off the clock.

By keeping your personal and professional lives separate, practicing what you preach to your team on a consistent basis and always remembering the importance of always reflecting the traits of your leadership will allow you to become an effective and influential leader in your life first and then for your team.






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Mark Sanborn
About Mark Sanborn

Mark Sanborn, CSP, CPAE, is president of Sanborn & Associates, Inc., an idea studio dedicated to developing leaders in business and in life. Mark is an international bestselling author and noted expert on leadership, team building, customer service and change. Mark Sanborn graduated cum laude from The Ohio State University. In addition to his work as a business educator and author, Mark continues to be an active leadership practitioner. Most recently he served as the president of the National Speakers Association.

One Response to Lead Your Own Life before You Try to Lead Others
  1. […] 27. The Leadership Blog: The tagline for Mark Sanborn’s leadership blog, “Leadership is not power over people but power with people,” highlights the team-oriented philosophy adopted by the author in his posts. Highlight: Lead Your Own Life before You Try to Lead Others […]


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