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Leading Self

The work of a leader is based on an understanding of how your own mindset, beliefs, values, and intentions contribute to behaviours that define you as a leader. Self-leadership encompasses the critical role of self-awareness and reflective practice, as well as taking responsibility for your own performance and demonstrating competence in emotional intelligence. This page provides resources to help leaders explore the impact of their own emotions, values, intentions, and assumptions on their sense of reality and on the people around them. 

Clifton StrengthsFinder® Assessment

This assessment, designed by Gallup, helps people identify their talents. Gallup research proves that people succeed when they focus on what they do best. When they identify their talents and develop them into strengths, people are more productive, perform better, and are more engaged. Note: there is a small fee required to take this assessment.

March 7, 2022
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Saboteur Assessment

Saboteurs are your invisible agents of self-sabotage. They represent your brain’s automatic mental habits with limiting beliefs and assumptions about how to handle life’s challenges. You can learn to meet your challenges by activating a different voice and region of your brain that performs far better while producing positive feelings like curiosity, empathy, creativity, and peace, with a laser focus on action.

March 7, 2022
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Positive Intelligence Quotient

PQ (Positive Intelligence Quotient) measures the relative strength of your positive mental muscles (Sage) versus the negative (Saboteur). PQ is the most widely used measure of mental fitness. Independent researchers have validated this measure to be the greatest predictor of how happy you are, and how well you perform against your potential.

March 7, 2022
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Personal Values Assessment

Find out what is important to you by taking a Personal Values Assessment. The Personal Values Assessment, created by the Barrett Values Centre, is a simple survey that takes just a few minutes of your time and provides a wealth of information about why you do what you do.

March 7, 2022
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Self-Reflection Worksheet

Regular reflection helps increase self-awareness, and can help you track your progress toward your goals. Use this Self-Reflection Worksheet to prompt your own reflective practice.

March 7, 2022
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Defensiveness: The Enemy of Self-Awareness

For many of us, it is easier to spot our defensive behaviors than it is to perceive the feelings leading to those behaviors. Attached is a list of 48 behaviors that are common signs of defensiveness. Take a moment and put a check by the top three defense behaviors that you most often do. If you do not think you do any of these behaviors, then just check off box number 12.

March 7, 2022
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Want to be an outstanding leader? Keep a journal

Gaining access to your own insight isn’t difficult; you simply need to commit to reflecting on a daily basis. Based on Nancy J. Adler's research and many years of work with global business leaders as a consultant and international management professor, she recommends the simple act of regularly writing in a journal:

March 30, 2022
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Self-Reflection for Self-Awareness

The quality of self-awareness requires self-reflection. Self-reflection is the act of setting aside time, ideally every day, to quietly and honestly look at yourself, first as a person and then as a leader. As with most good habits, commitment and practice help us to improve.

March 30, 2022
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87 Self-Reflection Questions for Introspection [+Exercises]

Self-reflection and introspection are important psychological exercises that can help you grow, develop your mind, and extract value from your mistakes.

March 30, 2022
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Attaining Self-Awareness Through Feedback

Becoming self-aware almost always requires help. As Kroger CEO David Dillon learned when he lost an election, it’s not always your opinion that matters. To realize your potential, it is important to understand how the person you project into the world is received.

March 30, 2022
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Know Thyself: How to Develop Self-Awareness

How well do you know yourself? How deeply do you understand your motivations? The charge, “Know thyself,” is centuries old, but it has never been more important.

March 30, 2022
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Power to the People: Why Self-Management Is Important

Self-management is a fundamental requirement for empowering both people and organizational success in the knowledge economy.

March 30, 2022
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Self-Awareness & Self-Management

In high-functioning individuals, these two skills work together in an endless cycle: Self-Awareness—“I know what I’m feeling or thinking or believing”—followed immediately by Self-Management—“My feelings or thoughts or beliefs don’t drive my behaviors; I can choose how I act.”

March 30, 2022
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Video: Know your inner saboteurs: Shirzad Chamine at TEDxStanford

Shirzad Chamine shows Stanford students how his research on positive intelligence can help them achieve their full potential for professional success and personal fulfillment.

April 11, 2022
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Video: A leader's process of self-awareness and reflection

This animation brings to life the 'Movie' metaphor; one of Dr Peter Fuda's seven metaphors for leadership transformation. It describes processes of self-awareness and reflection, which allow a leader to ‘edit’ their performance, and direct a ‘movie’ in line with their leadership vision. Often, leaders find themselves in their own version of Groundhog Day, living the same reality day after day with the same result. After many visits to the editing suite, leaders can hone their reflective capacity, and eventually, learn how to slow down their movie. From this place of stillness, leaders can draw upon past learnings, and their ever expanding repertoire of tools and strategies, and choose a better response – in real time.

April 11, 2022
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Video: Leadership: The Importance of Being Self-Aware

At the core of a world-class leader is a high level of self-awareness. Therefore, becoming more self-aware helps to improve your effectiveness as a leader. What are you proud of, and what do you wish you could do better? How can you incorporate our talents, skills, knowledge and experience into improving our leadership impact? In this GET YOUR MIND ON, Lori educates us about these essential components to build a stronger core.

April 11, 2022
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Video: Bev James: Importance of Self Awareness and Leadership

April 11, 2022
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Video: Know Your Strengths, Own Your Strengths

In this lecture, discussion guide, and practice video package, Marcus Buckingham explores strengths-based management and leadership. This resource is made available through leanin.org.

April 11, 2022
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Video: How to get better at the things you care about

Working hard but not improving? You're not alone. Eduardo Briceño reveals a simple way to think about getting better at the things you do, whether that's work, parenting or creative hobbies. And he shares some useful techniques so you can keep learning and always feel like you're moving forward.

April 11, 2022
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Video: Why we all need to practice emotional first aid

Too many of us deal with common psychological-health issues on our own, says Guy Winch. But we don’t have to. He makes a compelling case to practice emotional hygiene — taking care of our emotions, our minds, with the same diligence we take care of our bodies.

April 11, 2022
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Video: The power of vulnerability

Brené Brown studies human connection—our ability to empathize, belong, love. In a poignant, funny talk, she shares a deep insight from her research, one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity. A talk to share.

April 11, 2022
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Video: The power of introverts

In a culture where being social and outgoing are prized above all else, it can be difficult, even shameful, to be an introvert. But, as Susan Cain argues in this passionate talk, introverts bring extraordinary talents and abilities to the world, and should be encouraged and celebrated.

April 11, 2022
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Video: In defense of extroverts

Katherine Lucas is an extrovert — but to her surprise, her cheerful smiles and warm approach gave others the impression that she was less intelligent and lacked leadership skills. Lucas identifies different types of extroverts and argues that the workplace needs them all.

April 11, 2022
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Self-Reflective Awareness: A Crucial Life Skill

The first step to cultivating self-reflective awareness is knowing what it is and explicitly valuing it. Once it is explicitly valued, there are several ways one can foster it.

April 11, 2022
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Self Awareness and the Effective Leader

Organizations benefit more from leaders who take responsibility for what they don't know than from leaders who pretend to know it all.

April 11, 2022
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Why Doctors Need Leadership Training

Medicine involves leadership. Nearly all physicians take on significant leadership responsibilities over the course of their career, but unlike any other occupation where management skills are important, physicians are neither taught how to lead nor are they typically rewarded for good leadership. Even though medical institutions have designated “leadership” as a core medical competency, leadership skills are rarely taught and reinforced across the continuum of medical training.

April 11, 2022
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More articles about leading self in PubMed

Topics include: attitude of health personnel, physician executives, leadership, and character. 

April 11, 2022
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CanMEDS physician health guide: a practical handbook for physician health and well-being by Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada

Medicine can be a very rewarding career but it is also a very demanding profession. As this guide shows the hazards to physician health are wide ranging – from poor nutrition to problems with finances to stress management – these are the issues that can and do affect all physicians at some stage in their careers.

April 11, 2022
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Emotional intelligence : why it can matter more than IQ by Daniel Goleman

Through vivid examples, Goleman delineates the five crucial skills of emotional intelligence, and shows how they determine our success in relationships, work, and even our physical well-being. What emerges is an entirely new way to talk about being smart. The best news is that "emotional literacy" is not fixed early in life. Every parent, every teacher, every business leader, and everyone interested in a more civil society, has a stake in this compelling vision of human possibility.

April 11, 2022
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The Executive and the Elephant by Richard L. Daft

Often leaders know that right action is important, but have little (if any) understanding of what prevents them from acting in accordance with their intentions. In this important book, leadership expert Richard Daft portrays this dilemma as a struggle between instinct (elephant) and intention (the executive) using the most current research on the intentional vs. the habitual mind to explain how this phenomenon occurs.

April 11, 2022
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Gifts Differing by Isabel B. Myers; Peter B. Myers

Written by the creators of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator(R), this book explains the essential personality types and their practical significance in your daily life; in school, at a job, in a career, or in your personal relationships.

April 11, 2022
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Giving voice to values: how to speak your mind when you know what's right by Mary C. Gentile

This book assists with personal understanding of how to identify, name, assess, and act on one’s values in the workplace. While set in a business context, much of what is discussed is relevant for health care. Several of the appendices are quite useful for summarizing key points in the book and for offering tools/questions for self- and team-exploration of values.

April 11, 2022
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Great leadership: what it is and what it takes in a complex world by Antony Bell

Responding to the growing demand for leadership that is both competent and principled, Antony Bell offers an easy-to-grasp, workable framework that gets to the heart of what defines greatness: knowledge, skills, and talents combined with the inner qualities of a leader that drive noble actions.

April 11, 2022
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I'm not crazy, I'm just not you : the real meaning of the 16 personality types by Roger R. Pearman; Sarah C. Albritton

I'm Not Crazy, I'm Just Not You teaches us how to overcome our natural inclination to judge difference in order to recognize and celebrate it, even across generational and cultural divides.

April 11, 2022
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Introduction to type and leadership by Sharon Lebovitz Richmond

Introduction to Type® and Leadership offers a unique Leadership Map that helps leaders chart their own course to becoming even more effective.

April 11, 2022
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Lost Virtue by Nuala Kenny (Editor); Wayne Shelton (Editor)

Adopting a personal view of bioethics by examining the physician, this book discusses character formation, ethics, professional character, and other concepts. It also addresses the interpersonal aspects of physicians and the importance of character.

April 11, 2022
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Mastering leadership: an integrated framework for breakthrough performance and extraordinary business results by Anderson, Robert J. & Adams, W. A. (Bill)

In Mastering Leadership, Robert J. Anderson and William A. Adams argue that in order for organizations to generate extraordinary results, leaders must first transform their values, emotional intelligence, and decision-making systems. To that end, the authors provide an integrative framework, known as the Universal Model of Leadership, designed to help leaders evolve both their competencies and their consciousness. They assert that only by changing their worldviews can leaders create and sustain groundbreaking organizations.

April 11, 2022
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Own the Room by Amy Jen Su; Muriel Maignan Wilkins

People are drawn to and influenced by leaders who communicate authentically, connect easily with people, and have immediate impact. So how do you become one of them? How can you learn to "own the room"? This book will help you develop your leadership presence.

April 11, 2022
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Positive Intelligence by Shirzad Chamine

In his popular Stanford University lectures, Shirzad Chamine reveals how to achieve one's true potential for both professional success and personal fulfillment. His groundbreaking research exposes ten well-disguised mental Saboteurs.

April 11, 2022
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The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

Stephen R. Covey presents a holistic, integrated, principle-centered approach for solving personal and professional problems. With penetrating insights and pointed anecdotes, Covey reveals a step-by-step pathway for living with fairness, integrity, honesty, and human dignity -- principles that give us the security to adapt to change and the wisdom and power to take advantage of the opportunities that change creates.

April 11, 2022
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Who Are You? the Myers-Briggs Personality Indicator and Personality Types by Stuart Sloan

Learn more about this important assessment and the personality types associated with it.

April 11, 2022
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Developing Emotional Intelligence for Healthcare Leaders

Skills in emotional intelligence (EI) help healthcare leaders understand, engage and motivate their team. They are essential for dealing well with conflict and creating workable solutions to complex problems.

May 17, 2022
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