#285 from Innovative
Leader Volume 6, Number 7
is Your Self-Leadership Quotient?
Potter provides management and self-development training for
corporations, government agencies and colleges.
Among several books she’s authored are Beating
Job Burnout: How to
Transform Work Pressure into Productivity and Finding
A Path With A Heart: How
To Go From Burnout to Bliss (Ronin Publishing, Berkeley, CA,
1994,1995), from which this article is adapted.
She is located in Berkeley, California ( phone
510-540-6278, email firstname.lastname@example.org, www.docpotter.com/).
work involves implementing a vague objective.
We are rarely given a step-by-step plan, nor would we want
one. Going from an
idea to a completed project involves finding a path and leading
yourself and others through uncharted territory.
Self-leadership or pathfinding is a skill vital to success
in any creative endeavor. Yet,
very few of us have had any training in self-leading.
In fact, much of our formal education taught us just the
poses three pathfinding challenges.
First, is setting the course where you decide where you aim
to go and what you seek to achieve.
This involves defining your mission and creating a vision
of the outcome—what you will accomplish.
Next, is staying on course.
Accomplishing anything important is usually complicated
with many steps. It’s easy to get off course or to become blocked.
Staying on course requires a method for assessing progress,
so you can correct and by-pass obstacles.
challenge is traversing the course where you must get from here to
achieving your purpose. Getting
to your destination—accomplishing your mission—takes
motivation and help from others.
You must get yourself and others to move, and keep the
By taking the
quiz that follows, you get an overview of the steps involved in
pathfinding as well as a quick picture of your self-leadership
strengths, and where you can improve your skill.
Read over the
following items and, using a scale from 0 (never) to 5 (always),
rate how characteristic each is of how you approach activities at
work. When you’re
done, add up the score.
My Course—determining where I aim to go
___ 1. I check my
___ 2. I clarify what is important to me.
___ 3. I get in touch with my personal power.
___ 4. I seek problems to solve.
___ 5. I clarify my purpose.
___ 6. I assume responsibility to act.
Deciding on Direction
___ 7. I survey the situation.
___ 8. I brainstorm what is possible.
___ 9. I envision my purpose accomplished.
___ 10. I match challenges to my ability.
___ 11. I align my personal goals with my purpose.
___ 12. I set specific targets.
My Course—getting from here to achieving my purpose
___ 13. I survey my resources.
___ 14. I map out action steps.
___ 15. I establish standards of achievement.
___ 16. I create a network of allies.
___ 17. I build team spirit.
___ 18. I share my vision.
___ 19. I create meaning in what I want to do.
___ 20. I measure my progress.
___ 21. I reward my progress.
Enjoying the Moment
___ 22. I accentuate the positive.
___ 23. I look for satisfaction in small things.
___ 24. I get absorbed in my activities.
on Course—correcting my course and by-passing obstacles
___ 25. I maintain a “can-do” attitude.
___ 26. I adapt my thinking to the situation.
___ 27. I avoid perfectionism.
Correcting My Course
___ 28. I identify detours.
___ 29. I make contingency plans.
___ 30. I learn from my mistakes.
___ 31. I accept the challenge.
___ 32. I view problems as opportunities.
___ 33. I do something differently.
Piloting My Adventure
___ 34. I focus my attention.
___ 35. I develop strategies.
___ 36. I follow my bliss.
144 - 180
ability to lead yourself is outstanding.
By studying the qualities you can probably become an even
better self-leader as well as an outstanding leader of others.
most self-leading skills. With
practice, you can become an excellent self-leader.
73 - 108
have many self-leading skills, but employ them inconsistently.
With some skill training and practice, you have the
potential to become an excellent self-leader.
37 - 72
have many self-leading skills, but use them infrequently. If you make the effort to learn and practice the skills, you
can greatly improve your self-leading ability.
0 - 36
demonstrate little self-leading ability and find yourself going in
circles and looking to others for direction.
You probably have the capability to become a self-leader,
but you have it a priority to acquire the skills.