Being a Boss in today's world can be an incredibly challenging task.

It often feels like you're juggling multiple plates while riding a rollercoaster, constantly striving to prevent any of them from falling.

Having spent 15 years in East Africa as a senior leader of an international development charity, where I eventually became the CEO, I understand the pressures you face. We managed various programmes, including a social enterprise and a full-service private dental practice, so I am well-versed in the demands of dental leadership.

Despite not receiving formal leadership training, I managed to thrive! Through the guidance of my mentors, coaches, and a great deal of studying, reading, and practice, I learned how to lead and, more importantly, how to view myself as a leader.

I have successfully led teams for over 20 years, gradually developing my leadership skills and knowledge on the job, day by day, week by week, and month by month. Now, I have distilled the insights I've gained into user-friendly programs to support people like you.

Great Boss Blog

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Mastering Self-Leadership: The First Step to Leading Others Effectively

August 29, 20232 min read

Plato was right - The first and greatest victory is to conquer yourself.

You can't lead a team effectively if you can't lead yourself first. It's as simple as that. In this post, we'll dig into the nitty-gritty of self-leadership, covering key aspects like self-awareness, self-management, and self-development. Plus, I'll give you a quick heads-up about our upcoming Great Boss Bootcamp, where we'll dive even deeper into these topics.

Why Self-Leadership Matters

You might be thinking, "I've got a team to lead, why should I focus on myself?" Well, the truth is, self-leadership is the foundation of all good leadership. Think about it. If you're not in control of your own actions, emotions, and decisions, how can you possibly guide others?

The Three Pillars of Self-Leadership


Firstly, self-awareness. This isn't some new-age mumbo jumbo; it's about knowing your strengths, weaknesses, and triggers. It's the first step in understanding how you react in different situations, which in turn helps you manage your actions and emotions more effectively.


Once you're aware of your tendencies, the next step is self-management. This is the discipline part. It's about making conscious choices that align with your goals, rather than reacting on impulse. Whether it's keeping your cool in a heated meeting or staying focused on a project, self-management is key to being a reliable leader.


Last but not least, self-development. Leadership isn't a static skill; it's something you have to continually work on. That means setting goals for your own growth, seeking out new challenges, and never resting on your laurels.

Great Boss Bootcamp: A Deep Dive into Leadership Skills

If you're keen to get a comprehensive grasp on these self-leadership skills (and more), our upcoming Great Boss Bootcamp is for you. We'll cover everything from self-leadership to team management, all in a straightforward, no-nonsense manner. It's a great opportunity to get up to speed on what it takes to be an effective leader in today's world.

So there you have it. Self-leadership isn't some optional extra; it's the bedrock of effective leadership. By mastering self-awareness, self-management, and self-development, you're setting yourself up to be a leader who not only talks the talk but walks the walk.

Fancy taking your leadership skills to the next level? Join us at the Great Boss Bootcamp. It's a solid investment in your future, and let's face it, the future of those you lead.

The Bootcamp opens for registration on September 18th and closes on October 2nd. Click here for details.

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Mark Topley

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