“Personal leadership is the desire of an individual to take charge of his or her own life.” – Greg Thomas (Sociologist)

Personal leadership is about taking charge of your own life and responsibilities. Part of growing as a leader is to be always ready to expand your capacities and strengths. It is also about having the courage to speak up even when you are not sure of yourself. Leaders need to take the courage to push themselves forward and to argue for their point of view. Effective leaders also take the courage to ask for support and make the effort to be well-prepared when facing big challenges. Help-seeking is an act of courage and it provides others with the joy of knowing that they have contributed.

Responsibility, determination, persistence and strategy are part of leadership. An easy way to take responsibility for your own life, is by setting goals you wish to attain. Do you know where you want to be in 2 weeks, 2 months or even 2 years?
Goals are things you want to do, either big, long-term things like graduate from university/start a family/become a carpenter/be an artist, etc., or short-term goals like learn how to draw. Learning how to set goals, then working towards them, can help you feel better about yourself by giving you a sense of pride and accomplishment.


You practice!


Working towards your goals to achieve personal leadership:

  • Take some time to clearly define what you want and if you can pursue it realistically.

  • Thinks about your long-term goals and short-term goals.

  • Make your goals SMART

  1. Specific: know exactly what you want to achieve.

  2. Measurable : a goal should have an end, so you can see when you’re finished.

  3. Achievable : some goals are out of reach, no matter how hard you try.

  4. Relevant: Ask yourself if this topic matters and if you should work on it in this context.

  5. Time bound : give yourself a time-frame to finish.

  • Also have milestones along the way to show that you are on the track towards your goal, for example, if you want to be an artist in the long-term, some short-term milestones would be: learn to draw; enrol in art school; do an exhibition of my work for friends and family, etc.


To achieve your goals, you can develop an action plan. There are four critical steps to developing an action plan

  1. Identify a goal for your life

  2. Prepare some activities you will do to reach your goal and commit to tackling obstacles with the purpose of reaching the goal

  3. Implement the action plan, but be aware that the best laid plans can sometimes go wrong so be flexible and creative

  4. Monitor your milestones to track your progress, and make changes as you go along; sometimes you may need to change your goals!


Leaders are not always in control of what happens to them. You need to be able to think on your feet to respond. You need to be able to respond to rapidly changing situations by staying alert to what is happening around you, so that you can give an appropriate response.