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Why Self-Leadership Is The Most Important Leadership

by Isaac Mintah

Self-Leadership is the foundational ability that enables you to effectively express all of your other knowledge, skills, strengths, and passions.

The SOAR Self-Leadership Model  provides a practical roadmap for demonstrating self-awareness, emotional intelligence, mindfulness, and agility when engaging your most important and complex situations that require strong relationships for success.

Self-Leadership Checklist

  • I can easily articulate my core purpose and goals.
  • I can describe the environment that brings out my Best Self.
  • I can describe the environment that brings out my Worst Self.
  • I understand my strengths and how to best apply them.
  • I understand my weaknesses and how they get in the way of achieving my goals.
  • I consider my personal values when making important decisions.
  • I prioritize self-care to address my most basic needs


  • I am aware of how my perception biases can distort how I see situations.
  • I actively try to understand diverse worldviews.
  • I try to understand others’ unique situations before making judgments.
  • I know what triggers my negative emotions.
  • I recognize how my negative feelings affect my behaviors.
  • I regularly use breathing to calm my emotions.
  • I am aware of my emotions and can accurately describe my feelings.
  • I stay true to my Best Self when engaging with my most challenging situations.


During my most difficult conversations:
  • I am always clear about my best intentions (Results and Relationships) for the conversation.
  • I work to create shared clarity and alignment on the core issue.
  • I am skilled at managing others’ defensive reactions.
  • I lead with open-ended questions to understand others’ perspectives.
  • I take time to ask follow-up questions.
  • I come prepared to share my perspectives on the issue.
  • I know when to transition to questions that generate solutions.
  • I work to develop clear agreements for shared action.


  • I know how to reflect to effectively learn from my experiences.
  • I build in time for reflection as part of my regular routine.
  • I actively seek feedback for continuous learning.
  • I actively set development goals for ongoing improvement.
  • I share my goals with people who will support my progress.
  • I regularly practice new skills to continually develop.
  • I create clear plans for overcoming recurring challenges.

What can you do to improve your Self-Leadership Skills?

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