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Lead Yourself First: The Key to Building Executive Presence and Inspiring Teams

Many individuals find themselves thrust into leadership positions without fully understanding the true essence of leading – not just others, but also themselves. However, self-awareness is the bedrock of effective leadership. It's the foundation for building executive presence, a quality that inspires confidence, fosters trust, and empowers teams to achieve remarkable things.

So, how do we cultivate this vital self-awareness and translate it into leadership that motivates and unites?

Here are some key areas to focus on

1. Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses

Honest self-reflection is imperative. Identify your natural super powers in your strengths and acknowledge areas for development. What are you passionate about? Where do you excel? What areas require further growth? Seek out feedback and mentorship opportunities to gain a well-rounded perspective on your leadership style.

2. Embrace Your Values

What principles guide your decisions? Understanding your core values allows you to make choices and lead with integrity, fostering trust with your team. Living by these values inspires them to do the same, creating a strong foundation for collaboration and understanding each other.

3. Cultivate Emotional Intelligence

Be aware of your emotions and those of your team. Emotional intelligence allows you to manage your own reactions and effectively navigate the emotional landscape of the workplace. Acknowledge feelings, practice empathy, and use this understanding to foster a positive and productive team environment. 

4. Sharpen Your Communication Skills

Communication is the lifeblood of leadership. Be a clear and concise communicator, tailoring your message to different audiences. Actively listen to your team members, by creating a psychologically safe space, this will allow them to openly share their value and encourage their input and concerns, guiding them to share and contribute more to the team.

5. Lead by Example

People gravitate towards leaders who embody the values and behaviours they connect with. Set high standards for yourself and demonstrate a commitment to excellence. Be accountable for your actions and decisions, fostering trust and respect. This includes owning it when you feel you have made a mistake. 

6. Invest in Your Personal Growth

Leadership is a continuous learning journey. Never stop striving to improve your knowledge, skills, and overall leadership capabilities. Seek out training opportunities, read leadership books, and actively work on your unique style and how you want to show up and be seen.  

By prioritising self-awareness and focusing on these key areas, you'll cultivate a strong executive presence that inspires confidence and compels others to follow. You'll build a team that respects, trusts and thrives under your leadership, working collaboratively towards shared goals.

Leading with self-awareness isn't just about titles and positions, it's about creating a positive impact and empowering those around you.

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