Unlock the Potential in Your Organization with Self-Leadership at All Levels

Unlock the Potential in Your Organization with Self-Leadership at All Levels

Christian Fredriksson

Unlock the Potential in Your Organization with Self-Leadership at All Levels

Christian Fredriksson

We at Doings have had the privilege of supporting several of our clients in cultivating self-leadership within their organizations. The effects on both the participants in the programs and on the businesses have been significant. Therefore, we would like to share our experiences in the hope that more can harness the power within their organizations through self-leadership.

In Brief

Self-leadership aims to increase one’s ability to respond effectively to situations. In a turbulent time where adaptability and innovation are crucial for success, we see that the ability to lead oneself is what sets successful organizations apart. To succeed in your pursuit of self-leadership, it’s essential to design it in relation to the effects you wish to achieve.

What is Self-Leadership?

Unfortunately, there’s no single definition of self-leadership. Charles C. Manz defined it as “a process of exerting influence over oneself and one’s own behavior.” Simply put, self-leadership is the art of leading oneself. It aims to enhance one’s ability to respond effectively to the situations one faces.
Self-leadership is built on internal functions such as self-awareness, self-regulation, and inner motivation. It’s about strengthening awareness of how I function, what I value, how I tend to behave, and the effects of my behaviors. With increased awareness, I gain a greater ability to act “right.”

Increased self-awareness, in turn, gives me a greater capacity for self-regulation, allowing me to choose how I want to act, rather than instinctively react. The key to being able to act rather than react lies in the tiny amount of time that occurs between something happening and me taking action. In that small space, there’s an opportunity for me to choose my actions. By thoroughly reflecting on how my personal vision aligns with that of the organization, conditions are created to channel my energy into the right things with high motivation.

Why is Self-Leadership Important for Your Organization?

Many talk about how the world is complex and changing rapidly. I often ask myself what demands this places on leaders and organizations facing the challenge of navigating uncertain and turbulent waters. The key to success lies not only in having a good map in the form of wise strategic plans and effectively executing them. You also need to unleash and channel the intelligence of each employee so that together you can move the ship forward.

We believe that self-leadership cultivated at all levels of an organization is a strategic asset that can transform both individuals’ working lives and the organization’s overall performance. An added bonus is that increased self-leadership also has positive effects in all domains of life – both professional and private. In an organization where each employee feels responsible for their own leadership, an environment is created where innovation, engagement, and productivity flourish. As individuals develop the ability to effectively lead themselves, their decision-making, communication, and collaboration skills improve. This, in turn, strengthens the organization’s capacity as a whole.

So, How Do You Do It?

Promoting a culture of self-leadership involves more than just offering a course in self-leadership, although that’s a good start. A thoughtful learning strategy focuses on the effects your organization wants to achieve, and from there, a self-leadership program can be tailored.
Things to consider include, for example, what learning formats suit your employees. How can you create an encouraging climate where participants can experiment with new skills after completing training? How can you wisely shape learning groups that contribute to the desired effects (for example, strengthening relationships between parts of the organization)? In what order should employees and leaders take the program? And of course – what specific skills does your organization need to strengthen?
Our experience is that CEOs, management teams, leaders, and HR need to work together to create the best conditions for the organization to realize the effects of a self-leadership program. Not least because the strongest culture carriers in the company, often the management team, need to lead by example.

So, if you decide to give your organization and your employees the gift of a self-leadership education, I would like to conclude by saying: Congratulations and good luck!
And if you have any thoughts or questions, you are warmly welcome to contact us.


Here you can be inspired by Leila’s thoughts and experiences on when (the lack of) self-awareness gets in the way of change work. Interesting, we think!

Christian Fredriksson

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When (lack of) self-awareness stands in the way of change

When (lack of) self-awareness stands in the way of change

Leila Ljungberg

When (lack of) self-awareness stands in the way of change

Leila Ljungberg

Have you ever experienced that work situation where everything seemed to be in order? The strategy was in place, communication was synchronized, everyone was ready and motivated. And then… nothing happened?
No matter how much we refine and calibrate in terms of direction and strategy, we often see that it doesn’t translate into action. The culprit? The human factor, as it might be stated in an incident investigation.

Change occurs at both the organizational and individual levels.

We work daily to help companies articulate their direction, vision, and create engagement around it. Identifying ways to strengthen behaviors and move towards their strategy is a key focus, all to bring about sustainable change.

For this to truly happen like magic, one crucial thing is required: individuals must be willing, prepared, and motivated to grow with the change. This entails strengthening their self-awareness. How do I act? What value does it create? How can I maximize the value without breaking?

When we work on both structure and culture at the organizational and individual levels, incorporating strategy and behavior, we observe faster progress, more efficient change, and increased engagement to contribute and find solutions. This lays the foundation for long-term change.

Self-awareness – or the lack thereof?

We live in a society where we are measured, driven, and quickly become accustomed to confirmation when we perform. It’s not uncommon for a crisis or a health condition to prompt us to start working on self-awareness and take care of ourselves. We argue that this work should start earlier and be continuous throughout life, especially in the fast-paced work environment where the pace of change is high.

It’s when we are in a recuperative state that we have the space to challenge ourselves. That’s when we have the energy and initiative to reflect on ourselves genuinely. It’s only then that we have the strength to receive feedback and act wisely. Self-reflection and personal development require, in addition to energy, both the will and courage from the individual. It also requires security and clarity from the cultural system, particularly evident in change efforts. When our clients work on direction, the cultural system, and individuals, we see that they succeed more extensively and sustainably.

Strengthen your self-awareness

Personal growth and increased self-awareness are, of course, lifelong endeavors. It means being incredibly curious about oneself and inspecting inwardly while adjusting outwardly. And it’s those continuous, good little habits that make the big difference. Here are three of our favorite reflections to nurture. Make it a habit to ask yourself these questions regularly:

  1. How do I want to be perceived by others? Why?
  2. What behaviors do I use to demonstrate that?
  3. What more can I do?

How do you increase your (and others’) self-awareness?

Leila Ljungberg

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