Focusing on your emotional state first and foremost has benefits for everyone. (Leadership Lesson: Be Selfish!
In my 50,000+ word book "Real Leadership! Are You Ready?", the idea of selfishness in leadership does come up once...and it is related to this context. Here is an excerpt from the section titled: Leadership may not be private, but it sure is personal.
Leadership is as much about self as it is others, but not in the way you may be thinking. To be both effective and right as a leader, we must attend to self-leadership; the governance of one’s own person. Without self-governance, there is little of real value to give away and/or little that others will perceive as being worthy of following. Ever wonder why senior leaders resign after compromises of integrity (i.e., extra-marital affairs, embezzling, etc.)? Stephen Covey picked up the flavor of this critical ingredient in our leadership enrichment recipe when he clarified in habit #5 of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People the first component of Greek (Aristotelian) philosophy on Rhetoric: credibility or ethical appeal (ETHOS). In order to be influential as a leader, we first need to maintain high standards of personal moral excellence (a private matter, as Dwight L. Moody quipped: “Character is what you are in the dark”)...otherwise no one will allow us to get close enough to really understand their concerns (PATHOS) or consider us credible enough to receive—let alone dare ever act on—our words (LOGOS), nor will they, as a result, ever choose to follow our lead. And if you question this idea or are tempted to wonder whether it matters, consider the results of a Baylor University study, recently conducted by Mitch Neubert and Dawn Carlson. According to the online article: As the Leader Goes, So Goes the Company (Carlson), their findings suggest that ethical leadership does indeed lead to better performance in the workplace and that Servant Leadership leads to more creative behavior on the part of employees. Real Leadership must first become personal, but it cannot stay private.
Problem is, we are congenitally blind to our own defects. So, if we are to improve our performance and impact as leaders--if we are to develop high standards of moral excellence, we need to develop a desire and design for feedback and, in a very real sense, this brings OTHERS directly back into the Leadership Enrichment LIFE-cycle. How's your leadership selfishness? Is it in this same context? If it's not in the context of Real Leadership!, all you have to do is say yes to the question: Are You Ready?