Andrew Bryant  – Self Leadership

Self-leadership Definition:
“the practice of intentionally influencing your thinking, feeling and actions towards your objective/s”.
(Bryant and Kazan 2012).


“Self-leadership is the practice of intentionally influencing your thinking, feeling and actions towards your objective/s” (Bryant and Kazan 2012, Self Leadership – How to Become a More Effective, and Efficient Leader from the Inside Out).

Charles Manz was the first to use the term ‘Self-leadership’ in 1983 and defined it as; “a comprehensive self-influence perspective that concerns leading oneself”. Peter Drucker (2010) said that being a Self-leader is to serve as chief, captain, or CEO of one’s own life. Brian Tracy talks about setting a goal and taking full responsibility for that goal.

Self-leadership (a.k.a Personal Mastery) is the answer to how do we develop ourselves to survive and thrive in a Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous world.

Self-leadership is the Critical Success Factor for individual and organizational success.

The concept of Self-leadership can be found in the writings of philosophers and poets, both Eastern and Western:

“Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power.” – Lao Tzu

“I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.” – Henley

What is Self Leadership?

All human beings are self-leaders; however, not all self-leaders are effective at self-leading (Manz, 1983). That is the bad news. The good news is that self-leaders can become better at leading themselves.

Self-leadership is about constantly developing the ‘inner game’ (mindset) and the ‘outer game’ (action). The inner game consists of Intention, Self-awareness, Self-confidence, and Self-efficacy (self-belief) to achieve Personal Mastery, whilst the outer game consists of influence and impact.

“Self-leadership is having a developed sense of who you are, what you can do, where you are going coupled with the ability to influence your communication, emotions and behavior on the way to getting there.” (Bryant, Kazan 2012).

In this current disruptive age, organizational learning has become the only sustainable advantage. Senge noted the link between self-leadership and organizational learning:

“Organizations learn only through individuals who learn. Individual learning does not guarantee organizational learning. But without it, no organizational learning occurs.” – Peter Senge

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What is Self Leadership – definition by Andrew Bryant