Great leadership starts with self-leadership | Lars Sudmann | TEDxUCLouvain

Great leadership starts with self-leadership | Lars Sudmann | TEDxUCLouvain

good afternoon today I want to share with you my leadership utopia and when I was discussing this with a friend of mine he was asking leadership in Utopia would we need leadership in utopia isn't utopia finally the place in the moment where we can get rid of all of these leaders and live free well I don't know I think in a utopia there will be humans hopefully and if they're humans they will hopefully still be social beings as well and whenever there are social beings they come together as well and form sometimes groups sometimes organizations as well and when they are these organizations then I think the words of Peter Drucker are true only three things happen naturally in organizations friction confusion and underperformance therefore you don't need anything but everything else requires leadership so I do think also in Utopia we should look at the leadership but the question is what kind of leadership should we look at the hero model of leadership where the shining star is the ideal person I don't know today I want to explore with your different kind of leadership and for this I want you to do a little thought experiment to think about the best leader you have ever worked with take a couple of seconds think about that person what did he or she do say and so on now all of you will have experience other people but I would dare to say I don't think you will have things like well you know the way that person yelled at me in the morning that was excellent that was that was just brilliant the way and I wanted always have more probably not probably that person will have done different things and I want to explore that together with you now I don't think leadership is an interesting thing and sometimes it's over glorified but whenever you you become a leader and I have the chance to lead small teams large organizations nonprofit profit organizations whenever you become a leader you have like a rendezvous with reality leadership is a bit like parenting and you have all these visions and ideas what you will do and then you're in the moment and then what I would call the leadership problem formula kicks in and probably the people you have thought about just a second ago have mass of this formula what does that formula look like every leader when every of you who has ever been in a leadership position might have faced these challenges I think every leader faces the leadership problem formula and that goes TLT times people times power first one is TLT which for me stands for too little time there's just not enough time to do things and you can't pass it around or somebody will take care of it no it's you and then you need to do something and what many people then fall back in is what I would call the headless chicken syndrome they run around and say I don't know you do that you do that you do that you do that and that might then not be the greatest leadership then comes as well people all he does have to do with people and for me I'm always reminded of my very first official leadership position more than 10 years ago so I would have my first direct reports and the first direct board was coming into the room and I had it all lined up I had the vision at the team spirit I had the story to tell basically and that was a very assertive young gentleman who came to me and said loss and all nice but I have a question for you actually I studied the email policy of the company and you know I have a motto I live by and I always include this and I have this for the past five years I always include this in my email signature can I do this as well in this company and there was with all my stories and with all my vision and so on it was like what is that what leadership is all about so I was studying the manuals for two hours and so on finally we said okay let's go ahead with this one but everybody who's ever lead will see like it's not always about the glorious and shiny things that's all about the little things the little discussion that we have to do the last element is power and that's an interesting one there's a very interesting study done University of Berkeley in 98 and they brought in random students and selected them randomly in groups of three and from these groups of three two of them had to do a two-hour assignment and one of them was randomly assigned to be the supervisor and then a social science experiments goes there was a special twist to it at half an hour the researchers then brought in cookies and of course it was videotaped and then they observed what happens actually there they had some hypothesis and sure enough the people who were randomly assigned to be supervisors significantly more of the cookies but not only this they actually left significantly more of the bread crumbs as well on the table like I'm there to judge and it was very visually measurable and that it shows after 30 minutes of random states at higher status this power thing kicks in it's something within us in humans and I think that is also something to be need to take care of now I do think these are the classic leadership problems that are not very often taken care of but I think in a utopia we need to address those so how do we do that what is the way out for this one I think we need to travel back in time actually almost eighteen nineteen hundred years to Rome to a person called Marcus Aurelius now some of you might know Marcus Aurelius Marcus or radius is one of the predominant figures of the stoic school of philosophy Stoics like the Zen of the West almost but Marcus Aurelius is interesting for leadership because he was running a little like you know little side business also on the side he had a little side job in moonlighting he was and that's why on the statue he's also you see in there on a horse as well he was at the time as well on top of being a philosopher he had the side job of being the emperor of Rome at the time and the historian William Irvine called him actually the true beacon of enlighted leadership he was supposed to be one of the last of the five good kings of Rome now Marcus Aurelius what we know of him set things like this the happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts he said so egg purchase use your time well and be cheerful then when you drop from life's tree you will drop like ripe fruit now can you imagine these words being updates for some of the leaders like Trump and so on today most likely not really what did he do and we know a couple of things that were transmitted from this one I think that is a sign for utopia leadership that we can dive into he was focusing a lot of his time on field which I would call self leadership leading oneself first before going out and leading others and I think that in my leadership challenges helped me enormously to actually face some of the challenges of the leadership core and formula that I've shared with you the founder visiter Hawk once said if you want to lead invest at least 40% of your time in leading yourself first before you go out to others now how do you do that and what I want to share with you a couple of strategies that I've tested that have worked with and so on to really try to see what can we do with that field of self leadership the first strategy and the first field of self leadership is out there is self-awareness when you become a leader it's actually some of the crucial things to be self-aware of yourself but it's getting more and more difficult any of you have ever been a leadership or in a leadership position if you've ever asked try to ask for feedback that's not so easy you ask like hey team hey group do you have some feedback very often what you encounter is the silence I can these ancient western movies with his dust balls oh come on some feedback you are brilliant but everything's fine and you know no that's not right well they I mean you're signing the the paycheck basically they're a billion now there are some ways of course to learn to ask also for better feedback one of the things the thing every leader can do is to check that for themselves and one of the tools that I have is what I would call the character traits check a character traits check you can do that on a rainy Sunday and do the following ask yourself for example what was the worst leader that you ever had and then think what your face does them with this this is me reflecting upon this and then go further then ask like what did he or she you actually to be such a worst leader did he yell or did she yell or did he maybe withhold information when I was doing this exercise it was like that bad leader withholding information and here comes now the trick in this tool give yourself a score for 1 to 5 for yourself how good are you for example at sharing or withholding information how bad are you at this one and for me that was like oh I'm actually not very good at this so what is my plan to move that up to become very good at this one because we find bad in others will very often resonates also with ourselves one of the key things to do from time to time but if you do that you will see also the way portrayed affect you do that the next morning you're fully engaged but then like one of these trails at the beginning it's very sharp but later on it goes it fades away and that's why what you can do is a strategy that Marcus Aurelius did every day and that is self-reflection taking just a couple of minutes during the day and thinking about the challenges that you have achieved but also that you are maybe about to have during the day Marcus radios was famous for doing that in the night for me this 5 minute reflection sometimes I did the evening sometimes often the morning going to panco ddr having a quick coffee and then just opening my black book and just asking a couple of questions one of the challenges that i'm about to say how did my leadership go yesterday how would the leader I would like to be do and face the challenges that I'm about to face today then asking this and putting this answer in just one or two minutes of those actually they're interesting studies University of California just one or two many minutes of those can help raise your compassion level as well for others and maybe beat that cookie problem that we've talked about easier ly as well before self-reflection two to five minutes and then we come to the last one and that is self regulation you know you've done your awareness you done your reflection but you still will encounter the moments you will still encounter the meeting the the discussions that you have where people come in who promised you yes I will do everything I will have everything ready and they come in the room and say and let's talk it like let's talk what the report you said was ready oh oh sorry I don't have and all the other things the people who challenge you think they should be on your side and you should be on the other side and so on and all these moments where that you will face its leader when these moments you think that stop doing this do what I told you now this is of course not the best leadership but how do we do best do that self regulation and one tool that has helped me enormously is what it's called reframing reframing a simple tool where you think that where you have this this coming up leg on her I want you journal you stop and ask yourself for one to two seconds well on a scale from one to ten how important is that issue right now with 10 being reading my life goals so to speak where is that if it's a 10 well then you better engage really fully in it but maybe very often it's more like a 2 or 3 and so on and that reframing that taking a step back and help you enormous lee and actually addressing the situation small strategy small things but what I would encourage you to do is think about this when you have a leadership position invest this time it self awareness self reflection self regulation in self leadership in general before you go out and lead others because very often we hear about leadership like people want to lead others who want to do everything why not start first leading yourself I think we all did this this will lead to leadership utopia that we can strive for and I think we can start all by doing now and hopefully if you all start doing now and somebody asks in 10 20 years maybe now utopia the question who was the best leader that you've ever worked with and maybe they think of you thank you you

42 thoughts on “Great leadership starts with self-leadership | Lars Sudmann | TEDxUCLouvain

  1. Self-leadership can be very difficult to develop, especially when we are so busy already leading! However, it is so important to break through this barrier and seek that self-leadership within ourselves in order to positively lead others. By being aware of what we want to be and don't want to be, we can better understand what we should and shouldn't be putting to practice.

  2. Never seen good leadership, they have all been egotistical manipulative and unwilling to do the jobs they required from others. Often abusing their power and position.

  3. Many people simply assume that rising in ranks is the same as being a "leader". A leader will take on a senior role in an organization (sooner or later) but not all senior personnel are leaders! It is important to comprehensively understand the ‘mechanics’ of being a leader. Good talk. Food for thought for sure…

  4. This is a great talk- because when it comes to leadership the hardest person to lead is yourself-. If you lead yourself well you can lead a nation. Thanks

  5. Is it Gotama Buddha had solve the human problems but the West civilization so arrogant to ignore the lesson because they are want to hold on human desire and greed?

  6. Follow the Collegiate Leadership Competition (@CLC_Leader) on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn for more leadership content!

  7. Hopefully i will become a GREAT LEADER… i know that this is not easy but i'm optimistic together we can do it. Cause everybody deserve help

  8. my self leadership is based of my energy levels and when I walk EVERYWHERE and ALL DAY at work you tend to do almost 20 plus miles a day. then you add in all the lifting and you kinda wanna do nothing when the chance comes

  9. look people I'm not making any payments until I have a stable job. and def not until I'm not homeless. get it through your head

  10. I actually could see Trump saying something like that. Why are so many Ted talks going liberal? I don’t trust any study that came out of UC Berkeley especially when it involves cookies. He lost me at that point.

  11. Aujourd’hui un ami m’a demandé comment est-ce que j’ai acquis mon leadership. En réfléchissant mon passé, je m’ai rendu compte dont ce qui a été la clé pour moi, était précisément être, en première lieu, le leader de moi même. Maintenant, en regardant cette vidéo, je vois que ce n’était seulement une idée bizarre de moi, puisque en fait on utilise les mêmes mots, merci beaucoup.

  12. Just recalling the key points
    To lead others we need to first start by leading ourselves. (40% of time)
    Self leadership consists of
    1) Self Awareness – Recall who is leader you like/don't like. Compare their actions with yours and adapt.
    2) Self reflection – 2 to 5 minutes a day
    3) Self resolution – If getting frustrated, gauge the importance of the issue and act accordingly

  13. Wow! Thanks for all of the great ideas and quotes! I have lots of things to research now. Very funny and intriguing!! 🙂

  14. Powerful talk, you have just laid a foundation on my leadership, one day I will be that Great Leader I have always dreamed. Thank you

  15. I have a health issue that cant let me study and give all that I have do u think that I can do it and be a leader on day ????

  16. Self awareness,self reflection and self regulations will lead us to a great self leadership style to be a better person as we move a step closer towards goodness in this journey of ours…

  17. watch John Maxwell's videos or buy his books about leadership. You"ll save lots of time watching bad vids about leadership like this one.

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