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Leadership Qualities: Self Control

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Posted 24 October 2014 by Chris FarmerChris Farmer

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Leadership qualities: self control

Many organisations are interested in developing some of their people into future leaders; so many organisations are interested in identifying potential leaders; which are those people who show good promise and will be worthy of further investment.

Organisations need to identify those people who have leadership qualities.

Leadership qualities

Leadership qualities are the attributes of character and habit, which would tend to make a person more effective in the role of team leader. There are many leadership qualities, for example; good communication skills, the courage to make a decision; the ability to motivate others; the ability to delegate the right task to the right person, etc.

But there is one leadership quality which is of the highest importance. It is important because this leadership quality is the prerequisite of many other subsidiary leadership qualities. The quality I am referring to is the quality of self control.

Self control

Self control is a high level leadership quality. Self control is the ability to take command of your own thoughts, feelings, language, actions and, therefore, to take control of your objective RESULTS.

The average person tends to suffer from a distinct LACK of self control. They don't control their own thoughts, feelings, language, or actions and, therefore, they don't get the objective results that they would like to see in their lives. And instead of looking at their own lack of self control, they blame the government for their lack of progress.

If we reason it out for a moment, it becomes obvious: if you cannot control yourself, then you won't be able to control anything else. If you want to exert some kind of control and influence over events, you must first be able to fully control yourself.

Failure to control yourself is the cause of many failures.

The greatest victory is victory over yourself.

  • Self control is the way to victory over yourself and circumstances.
  • Self control is the starting point of all achievement.

Self control has many aspects:

  1. Control your thoughts.
  2. Control your temper.
  3. Control your fear.
  4. Control your speech.
  5. Control your bad habits.

Let us say a few words about each one.

1. Control your thoughts

Your thinking habits are the biggest influence in how your life turns out.

Have you ever thought about that?

If you think straight, then you will make good decisions about every issue; and if you make good decisions about every issue, then you will eventually come out on top.

But if you don't think straight, then you will make poor decisions, (or you will avoid making a decision) and many issues will work out NOT in your favour, and these small defeats will accumulate into what appears to be BAD LUCK, and you will NOT come out on top.

The person who will beat you is the person who thinks more clearly than you do, and makes better decisions, than you do.

This does not mean the other guy is intrinsically more intelligent, but that he is making use of his mind and directing it more efficiently than the average person.

This is why it is true that many extremely successful people are not geniuses. And many geniuses are not materially successful people. It is not how brainy you are that counts, so much as how you direct and control the mental powers that you do have, that makes the difference.

Control your thoughts. Directing them to answer three fundamental questions:

  1. What is the long range valuable and worthwhile goal that I want to achieve?
  2. How can I achieve it?
  3. What is the very next action to take in pursuance of the goal?

Keep your mind on that sequence of questions for the next ten years and judge the results for yourself.

2. Control your temper

If you cannot control your temper, it may cost you.
Maybe you have already suffered losses based around your inability to master your own mood.
You control your temper by dropping the expectation that other people and circumstances, "should" agree with your vision of how things "should" be.
Some people are irascible, irritated, and easily annoyed. It is important to expunge this quality from your mind by recognising the fact that the objective world, and other people operate without regard to your personal expectations about how they "Should" act.

  • So when the traffic lights change to red, don't get annoyed.
  • When the other guy cuts you up on the motorway, don't get annoyed.
  • When the other person insults you, don't get annoyed.

Instead, try to OBSERVE the facts, and evaluate your next move, in a non emotional manner.
Be like a scientist observing phenomena and making deductions about the true nature of things.
Don't get angry. Instead; get serious.

3. Control your fear

In the same way, you need to control your fear. Many people have too many fears.
They limit themselves from attempting a goal, because they fear failure, or fear they won't be good enough or fear that they won't be able to handle the consequences if they succeeded!
Some people fear success.
Fear is an emotion that stems from thinking that the future will be, in some way bad.
If you did not think that the future was going to be, in some way, bad, then you would not feel the emotion of fear.
Your mission is to limit the degree to which your mind and your imagination conjure up images of a dire future. You need to put strict limits on your imaginations propensity to create images of future failure, defeat, pain and disaster. Don't become a pessimist.
Instead take note of the actual evidence and do not take too much notice of your overactive imagination.
Or better still, retrain your imagination to visualise successful outcomes.

  • Visualise winning.
  • Visualise pleasurable benefits.

Not painful consequences.
If you can master your fears, then you have taken a big step towards controlling your environment.

4. Control your speech

In the same way you control your mind, you need to control your speech.
And you control your speech simply by applying the already mentioned principles to your spoken language.

  • Talk about your long range goals.
  • Talk about your plans.
  • Talk about what needs to be done.
  • Don't verbalise all your anger emotions.
  • Don't verbalise all your dark imagined fears.
  • Don't verbalise all your derogatory opinions.
  • Do talk about your visions for a successful future.

Control your tongue, because nobody likes a grump. And everyone needs someone who can make the future seem strong.
Make yourself the person who talks up the future. Strive to become a rational optimist.

5. Control your bad habits

Let us assume that you are not perfect, yet. You know that you have bad habits. And you know what those bad habits are.

  • You may be untidy.
  • You may be often late for appointments.
  • You may procrastinate.

Whatever are your bad habits, your goal is to master your bad habits. Take control of your worst bad habit and break the habit.

You should do this for three reasons.

  1. To prove that you can. Prove to yourself that you can master yourself.
  2. To eliminate the negative effects of the bad habit. Who needs the hassle of that habit?
  3. If you got rid of your bad habits, the rest of us would benefit from it too. If you were on time, other people would appreciate you more. You would become a more attractive person if only you would eliminate your bad habits.

So pick on your worst bad habit and break it.

Break your worst bad habit by the force of your will.


Do that and you will have self control.
And if you can control yourself, you can begin to control circumstances.

Leadership Training - The Effective Leader Manager

Leadership Training - The Effective Leader Manager

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