Leading yourself to lead others – are you a leader?

When asking a group of people if they identify as leaders, interesting things can be observed. First, there are the people who decide that no, leadership is not something they have ever done. Then there is the mystified group who are not quite sure what to make of this question.

Maybe they are – in some situations?  And then of course, there is the inevitable subset of confident-looking people who are very sure they are leaders. When asked why, many of those simply refer to their job title or the authority they have been given within a hierarchical framework.

Does this make them leaders? And reversely, does this mean that without a formal appointment and title, you are automatically excluded from leadership?

The general confusion also points towards a further common misconception: the belief that leadership is always something that is done to other people. This series, however, will argue that positive, successful leadership of others always includes good self-leadership. And even further – regardless of your formal role or position within an organisational hierarchy, strong self-leadership will be the foundation of your success, happiness and resilience in life and at work.

Self-leadership is based on a well-developed sense of understanding who you are. Take a moment to answer the following questions for yourself:

  • What are your three key values in life? What matters most to you?
  • What are your biggest strengths you are bringing to your work – and what are your weaknesses?
  • What are you scared of? And what would you do if you had no fear?
  • Which achievement are you most proud of?
  • What kind of people and situations inspire or energise you?
  • What do you want to be remembered for one day? What do you want to leave behind?

Coming back to these questions on a regular basis could be your starting point to an ongoing journey of self-leadership. 


If you would like to learn more, don’t hesitate to reach out to the QLS Solicitor Support service on or p. 3842 5843 to speak to someone in a judgement-free and supportive environment.  

Rebecca Niebler is QLS’s Organisational Culture and Support Officer, QLS Solicitor Support (QLS Ethics and Practice Centre)

27 February 2020

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