If we are honest with ourselves, we’ll admit that the toughest person to lead is ourselves.

~John C. Maxwell

1. Learn to follow before you try to lead.

Only a leader who has followed well knows how to lead others well. Good leadership requires an understanding of the world that followers live in. In contrast, leaders who have never followed well or submitted to authority tend to be prideful, unrealistic, rigid, and autocratic.

2. Develop self-discipline.

Each of us is the “king ” or “queen” of our own lives, meaning that we are ultimately responsible for our actions and decisions. To make good decisions consistently and refrainin from wrong ones, requires character and self-discipline.

3. Practice patience.

Most leaders I know struggle with impatience, including me! However, being able to look ahead doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right time to move ahead. Few worthwhile things in life come quickly. Remember that your growth is happening in a slow-cooker, not a microwave.

4. Seek accountability.

This is an important step because this is where our enemy (ourselves) really trips us up. Good leaders know they can’t trust themselves, they know their own fallibility, and they put measures in place to keep from stepping into danger. First, don’t rely on just yourself. Second, be accountable to someone worthy and reliable. Then, be willing to explain your actions and get advice from those holding you accountable, and I trust you’ll stay on track.