I was asked that question this week by an entrepreneur who is building his company and team. He is a new client to LeadOne and I think I shocked him with my direct response. I simply said, “How about you? You should be the first person you lead.”

I strongly believe if we can’t effectively lead ourselves, how can we lead others? He continued by asking, “What does leading myself look like?” Perhaps, you are asking that as well?

I suggested he think of words or activities that he believes are critical to effectively leading others—in other words, characteristics and skills a leader should have. As soon as he started to identify them, he knew where I was taking him. Some of the attributes on the list included accountability, discipline, coaching, and planning, among others.

I then asked him the POWER QUESTION, “So what is your plan for personal growth?”  Quite frankly, when you have a plan, that is the beginning of leading yourself.

I often like to bring a concept I developed called KASH to these conversations. KASH is an acronym for Knowledge, Attitude, Skills, and Habits. He is working on a plan in each of these areas to improve and be in a much better position next year at this time.

I’m challenging all of us to take charge of leading ourselves first. Let’s think about how you’ll be different next year at this time? What areas will you improve? This is your future, and you will spend the rest of your life in it.