Tips to Build Self-Leadership in Challenging Times

Self-leadership is never as important as now. There are so many avenues in life where we can find ourselves lost. Some roads place us in marvellous spectacles. Other roads take us perilously close to the edge of our greatest dread, while others encourage, by their very nature, an opportunity to playfully explore and challenge ourselves.

Whatever road we happen to be on, how we view the scenery can so often be through the perspective of past experiences. Where some might see a playground of exciting possibilities, others see danger.

How we view the world around us can affect the way we interact, our ability to absorb new information, and ultimately impact the way we see ourselves.

Woman Stands on Mountain over Field Under Cloudy Sky at Sunrise

Stop judging yourself by what happens to you in life

A wise man once said that it is our failures that define our success. It’s important to reflect and realise that sometimes failures are not what they seem. They may have been nothing more than a forced change of direction. An interruption to a narrow view. Sometimes life is just random and that these events happen not to conspire against us, but to offer an opportunity to define who we are and what we believe in. To show us something new about ourselves.

As humans we don’t like random, cognitively it’s much more pleasing to think logically and to join the dots. This happened because of this, therefore… It is the mistake of the ages and why gamblers are so addicted. My luck is due to change, I can’t keep losing? Understanding this simple philosophy – that life is beyond our control – is to choose by strength. Enjoying the present is where our focus should be, and is a key to self-leadership and inner confidence.

Forgive yourself and others for past mistakes

There is no greater gift you can give yourself than forgiveness. As part of life’s experience, you must live your mistakes and allow others to live theirs. Some mistakes leave you feeling overwhelmed ‘how could I have been so stupid?’ It’s a dangerous outlook and breeds bad habits.

Harbouring anger for what others have done is also a serious diversion from the present. When we run ourselves or others down, it affects the way we see things. I am a victim, or I am stupid, are labels that mean nothing. Yet they give us infinite excuses like ‘why bother?’ or ‘I am not worth this’ when an opportunity comes along.


Self-defeating attitudes linger like bad breath and affect the way we experience new flavours. Instead consider, I move forward in life with grace and ease, and with kindness to myself and all that I touch.

There are no losers, only an ill-fitting label that becomes a barrier to the next great view. In some areas you will define yourself with success and others will be an intersection to a better road.

The ultimate thrill in life is it is your choice of which direction to take. How can you build your self-leadership going forwards?


Case Study: Leadership Development Training at STL

Organisational Profiles

As part of our Public Schedule portfolio, STL offers leadership development to a range of organisations, from the leading brand in healthy drinks to one of the best-known luxury hotel chains.

Despite the different settings and company cultures, what they all have in common is that they have identified a ‘leadership profile’. Namely employees who are progressing into more challenging roles, be that as a team leader, project or people management roles, and who all require up-skilling to grow into their existing or forthcoming roles.


Their HR/Learning and Development departments choose this particular course because they are, amongst other things, looking for the following benefits:

  • Identifying the skills and qualities that make a good leader, and how that differentiates from simply ‘managing’
  • Key strategies and tools to discover and utilise their employee’s leadership strengths
  • How finding a balanced leadership focus can improve productivity, team motivation and cohesion
  • A deep understanding of team dynamics and how to improve relations via coaching, mentoring, social events and offering feedback, amongst other areas
  • Performance Management; assessing and developing individual effectiveness by examining communication skills, rapport-building, time management, setting appropriate boundaries and developing natural assertiveness
  • Becoming an effective task leader by setting goals that are measurable, realistic and achievable, leading the planning process and maintaining control of the team.

We draw on cutting edge material at the forefront of leadership development to accomplish this, including the following principles:

  • Being guided by the Future you want and staying focused on your vision
  • Engaging others in productive and stimulating working relationships that make things happen
  • Delivering the results you need to really move your business forward
Learning Deliverables for Leaders

All taken from the excellent ‘Leadership Plain and Simple book by Steve Radcliffe (UK) and the newest research by Dr Sunnie Giles, who stresses the importance of making employees feel safe as a key leadership quality, rather than the more fluffy and ill-defined ‘being charismatic’ that we’re so used to seeing in standard leadership material.

These form a powerful backbone to the course, which in addition to our proprietary materials make for some very engaging discussions amongst the group. One of the biggest benefits of course, is precisely this – the fact that we have a number of delegates from different industries all openly sharing their thoughts, hopes, experiences and challenges around current corporate leadership.

As best-practice and problem-solving meshes with our materials, you can see light-bulb moments happening as delegates re-frame their current experiences with this new information and clearly see how they can put this into action to increase productivity throughout their areas of the business.

One of the areas that comes up time and time again is the need to be assertive and push back before they burn out. We now include that in our Leadership course as standard, and role-play scenarios to help emerging leaders become more resilient.

As the trainer, it’s always gratifying to facilitate Leadership development. As Forbes so accurately says “With an estimated $166 billion annual spend on leadership development in the USA alone, organisations must transform these mission-critical programs to create real and lasting impact.”

And that’s our key focus. With 80% of this course being practical, delegates emerge with a newfound confidence in their skills and often form lasting connections with their peers on these types of high-level courses.


Our feedback has been excellent across the board with delegates saying;

“We received loads of practical advice, discussed examples, practised role-playing and delivering and receiving feedback/advice from the trainer. Thank you!”

“Alison is really an excellent trainer. Lots of experience, full of positive energy and pays so much attention to each of the members. I am totally impressed. Today I learnt not only communication skills but lots more. I see how much she engaged with the training preparation and how quickly she can react to our questions. She is very professional, it’s so nice to experience such a high level of presentation skill! Thank you so much!”


As a training team, developing our future leaders is something that we are passionate about. This is one of our most popular courses, and rightly so. There are very real skills-gaps at a corporate level that urgently need filling, and the range of material offered by this course afford us real scope to over-deliver for our clients.

Learn more about our Leadership Development course or our full range of leadership skills training on our website.