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How to Develop Self-Leadership?


Unlock some tips on how to promote female leadership shared by Womenlines guest influencer, leadership coach Ela Staniak – Founder of Feminine Leaders from Australia. In this article, Ela is sharing insights about how to develop self-leadership!

As I am beginning to write this I can feel the excitement rushing through my veins! My intention behind creating this piece is to paint an objective picture with my artistic paintbrush of a core issue behind UNDERPERFORMING LEADERS & TEAMS. 

I refuse to do any finger-pointing as we already practise that enough.. 

It is common in our society to sit in state of disempowerment and blame external factors for the lack of OUR RESULTS. It shows in our language: it’s the economy, it’s the location, it’s the employees, it’s bad relationships, it’s the weather, it’s lack of money.

Is it really what is going on?

I prefer to be on the front line of a solution. 

It is safe to say that most of us sooner or later either experience poor leadership directly or indirectly in the workplaces or at least know somebody who has/ still is. 


Because it is really common. According to Gallup “The single greatest cause for employee disengagement? Poor leadership.” Not to mention that pandemic highlighted all weak areas in the workplaces and in our homes.

Because many business owners and managers underestimate what it takes to:

  • Lead with integrity, courage and empathy
  • Be influential and inspirational 
  • Have great communications skills
  • Have an ability to create trust and delegate
  • Create culture of togetherness and respect
  • Be adaptable and agile and lastly but most importantly 

You may think: “HOLY MOLY! That’s a lot to grasp!”. 

It is. Leadership is very complex. Neglecting one or more components of leadership development will have significant effect on the most important aspect of any business – its PEOPLE. 

Let’s dive in deeper!

“Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to high sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.”—Peter Drucker

Too many businesses are built on a mindset “I am just going to launch my business, hire great people, and make tons of money” 

If it was only so easy…

Estimates are that one in three new small businesses in Australia fail in their first year of operation, two out of four by the end of the second year, and three out of four by the fifth year. OUCH!

What is the REAL REASON behind some of the biggest issues we talk about today in the workplaces, real issues beyond lack of sales and marketing, issues like discrimination, lack of diversity and inclusion, increasing number stress-related conditions and mental illness, high employee turnover?

What is the fundamental reason behind Poor Leadership and Poor Performance?

It is lack of priority of education in CONSCIOUSNESS GROWTH & PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT.

Let me bring up two pieces of data to back up my loving article before I move into a solution based conclusion. 

According to Harvard Business Review “Corporations are victims of the great training robbery. American companies spend enormous amounts of money on employee training and education—$160 billion in the United States and close to $356 billion globally in 2015 alone—but they are not getting a good return on their investment. For the most part, the learning doesn’t lead to better organizational performance, because people soon revert to their old ways of doing things.”

According to a 2020 report by Grand View Research, Inc. personal development market is predicted to be worth $56.66 Billion By 2027.

Data shows that we continue investing billions of dollars worldwide in education and training but we do not always achieve desired outcomes.

It was quite entertaining to hear from one of my female clients who is in a senior role in an organisation in Australia, of how she participated in a Leadership & Performance Training once upon a time where the participants were advised on how to dress appropriately for the work environment.

I am pretty sure you can google this topic thoroughly. If you wish to explore further I am going to send you to this article https://www.thetrendspotter.net/business-attire-for-women/ ..which, by the way, I just googled ?

Enough of laughter, let’s get serious.

People always “revert to old ways of doing things” without having a strong plan of implementation, accountability and ongoing support structures.

You may wonder WHY is that?

It’s because our subconscious behavioural drivers are much stronger than any short term breakthrough you may experience even during the most transformational event or a program.

You can walk on fire, climb the tallest tree, abseil from the tallest building, hug a stranger or do anything that puts you outside of your comfort zone and helps you to expand your capabilities, and it’s not guaranteed that this will help you create SUSTAINABLE & MEASURABLE changes in identity and behaviour. 

These activities may help you increase your confidence, help you believe in yourself a little more, or help you break through some of your fears.

In times of high stress or pressure, we automatically revert to our default stress-resolving mechanisms because without better internal resources like RESILIENCE, GRIT, STAMINA, TRUST, INCLUSIVENESS and EMPATHY our brain will search for ways to move away from the stressor based on our basic survival instinct. This is where we revert to what we know, rather than implementing what we learned. 

We have a natural default circuitry in our brain where being in known space provides us with a sense of safety and not knowing future outcomes creates uncertainty. Our brain is constantly creating rules that can predict how the world works. In the process, our adrenals produce noradrenaline which improves brain fluidity but also makes us feel edgy. Our brain becomes more fluid so it can create a brand new set of rules (beliefs and meanings) to get out of uncertainty as soon as possible. See uncertainty is uncomfortable and so KNOWING and LIVING IN A STRUCTURED WORLD gives us safety – less edginess. More comfort.

The activities mentioned earlier do not provide the tools needed to SELF-DEVELOP, PROGRESS and SUSTAIN the changes. 

What we do need to do is:

  • Learn how to TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for all our actions, decisions, feelings
  • Learn how to have unbreakable DISCIPLINE meaning: being self-accountable, following through with NEW habits every day and SUSTAIN those changes LONG TERM
  • Expand our AWARENESS & ADAPTABILITY through perpetual growth of EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE

What I just described is the scope of my Self-Leadership System which I designed specifically for those people who are ready, willing and OPEN to expanding VERTICALLY (consciousness) and HORIZONTALLY (skills and capabilities), people who have a desire to be EXCEPTIONAL LEADERS, TOP PERFORMERS and create INSPIRING results.

Self-Leadership is a complete state of empowerment, feeling in charge; an ultimate sense of self-love and self-respect; an ability to execute high-level decisions and action and produce consistent results aligned with integrity and values; 100% self-belief. 

Let’s shift our attention from focusing on a problem or what isn’t working to CREATING new approaches in the workplace and in our personal life. 

Great Leadership & Performance begin with equipping ourselves with greater insight and knowledge first, implementing new learnings to allow PERSONAL & PROFESSIONAL GROWTH so we can then transfer those learnings onto others.

If you desire to lead and live THE ULTIMATE LIFE I highly recommend you do the inner work and discover the heights of your human potential.

Ela Staniak -Founder of Feminine Leaders https://www.elastaniak.com/

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As a Feminine Leadership Coach to female CEO’s, Executives, and Business Owners, Ela champions unprecedented results for women ready to break through the perception of the ‘glass ceiling’ and gain their rightful place at the boardroom table or claim their space in their entrepreneurial zone of genius. 

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