Dee Hock is the founder and former CEO of Visa International and has been an advocate of leaders investing significant time and energy in self-leadership. He has advised:
If you seek to lead, invest at least 50% of your time leading yourself—your own purpose, ethics, principles, motivation, conduct. Invest at least 20% leading those with authority over you and 15% leading your peers.
Dee Hock has essentially advocated that leaders should spend a disproportionate amount of time developing and leading themselves. With similar sentiment, Plato said, “The first and best victory is to conquer self.”
Leaders should care for their own self-leadership but should also care that those they lead are leading themselves. Wise and loving leaders care that those they lead are caring for themselves. Here are 3 reasons you should care for your team’s self-leadership:
1. The person
If a supervisor does not care for the person, the supervisor is a tyrant and not a leader. Great leaders care for the person, not just the work the person accomplishes. A leader should care that the person leads self spiritually, physically, and relationally with significant others. As self-leadership suffers, so does the person, and as self-leadership is active and healthy, so is the person.
Most importantly leaders should care about others practicing self-leadership because they care for each person, but there are at least two other reasons.
2. The team
Each person on the team impacts the collective whole. When someone grows cold in his or her faith, the whole team is impacted. When a team member gets bitter and negative, the collective attitude of the team is adversely affected. When leaders don’t encourage and model self-leadership, they put the unity of the team in jeopardy.
3. The work
When we don’t lead ourselves well, our work is inevitably impacted. When hearts are cold, energy wanes, or when minds are dull because of a lack of self-leadership, work is not executed as well as it could be. The same, of course, is true for those on a leader’s team. If self-leadership degenerates, so does the quality of the work.
Because you love those you are leading, care for their self-leadership. Not only will they benefit but so will the team and the work.