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Lead Self: A Foundation for Leadership

In the ever-evolving landscape of leadership, it is crucial to develop a comprehensive understanding of the multifaceted journey that leaders embark upon. Mark Miller's four-stage curriculum, known as the Leader's Journey, provides valuable insights into the progressive stages of leadership development.

The Leader's Journey is a model that outlines the growth and development of leaders through four distinct stages. These stages serve as a roadmap for leaders to navigate their leadership journey effectively. The four stages are (1) Lead Self, (2) Lead Others, (3) Lead Teams, and (4) Lead Organizations.

Each stage builds upon the previous one, culminating in the ability to lead entire teams and organizations effectively. Today, we focus on the Lead Self stage.


The Lead Self stage serves as the foundation upon which all other stages of leadership are built. It emphasizes the critical importance of self-awareness, personal growth, and character development in becoming an effective leader. The key components of the lead self stage include self-awareness, character development, personal growth, and purpose, emotional intelligence, accountability, personal responsibility, and resilience.


Servant leadership, a leadership philosophy that places the needs and well-being of others at the forefront of leadership practice, is the foundation of the Lead Self stage. At its core, it emphasizes that leaders should serve their team members, empowering them to reach their full potential.

Servant leaders develop a keen sense of empathy and compassion, seeking to understand the perspectives and feelings of those they lead. It also requires leading by example, demonstrating through actions the behaviors and values they expect from others.

Effective servant leaders are exceptional listeners. They value open and honest communication and actively seek feedback. Servant leaders also exhibit humility, acknowledging that they don't have all the answers and that they are open to learning from others and building trust with their followers.

The Lead Self stage introduces leaders to the concept of servant leadership as a lifelong journey. It encourages leaders to continually assess and refine their leadership approach, ensuring that they remain focused on serving the needs of others while also nurturing their personal growth and self-awareness.


The Lead Self stage lays the foundation for effective leadership by emphasizing self-awareness, character development, personal growth, and other critical skills. Incorporating servant leadership principles into the Lead Self stage of the Leader's Journey reinforces the idea that leadership is not about wielding power but about using one's influence to make a positive impact on others. By becoming servant leaders themselves, individuals in the Lead Self stage not only enhance their leadership effectiveness but also contribute to fostering a culture of servant leadership within their organizations.

Leaders who successfully navigate the Lead Self stage are better equipped to lead with authenticity, integrity, and emotional intelligence. They are more likely to inspire and motivate others, fostering a culture of growth and success within their organizations. Understanding and mastering the Lead Self stage is a crucial step toward becoming a truly effective and impactful leader.

Interested in learning more about how to become an effective leader? Reach out to us to learn about the programs, facilitations, and services we offer!

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