How to Lead Yourself so You Can Lead & Inspire Others

Alex Bratty
6 min readSep 14, 2020

Self-leadership. What is it and why does it matter?

Essentially, it’s all about being self-aware, being accountable for your skills and behavior, and making sure you’re taking care of yourself — emotionally, physically, and mentally.

Now, when I bring up this topic, I sometimes get eye-rolls from leaders who explain they’re too busy to engage in a bunch of ooey-gooey “self-care.”

But, let me assure you that this is not soft stuff. In fact, it’s backed up by hard data, which shows that self-awareness and self-leadership are crucial aspects of being an effective leader.


If you can’t lead and take care of yourself, you can’t expect to lead and take care of others.

Of course, there are several ways you can engage in self-leadership. What I’m sharing here is the method that has worked for me and my clients. It’s based on a framework that was developed by the father of positive psychology, Dr. Martin Seligman at the University of Pennsylvania. (If you want to check out his extensive research in an easy-to-digest way, pick up the book, Flourish. It’s a quick and fascinating read.)

The framework is officially called the PERMA Theory of Well-Being. PERMA stands for Positive Emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, and Accomplishments. The idea is that when you’re checking off the boxes for all five of these, you are not just doing well and taking care of yourself, you are truly flourishing!

What I’ve found is that most leaders are pretty good at fulfilling 2 of the 5 elements: Positive emotions and Accomplishments.

They do this by setting goals, achieving them, and feeling good about their accomplishments.

Pretty simple, right?

This approach seems all well and good, except there’s just one itty-bitty problem with it.

Think about the last achievement you felt great about it? Got it in mind? Great. Okay, now think about how long your happiness about this achievement lasted — a couple of days, a couple of hours, 30 minutes? I’m guessing not too long.

That’s because our positive emotions are fleeting — they don’t last. We experience…

Alex Bratty

✅ Positive Work Culture Champion ✅ Researcher ✅ Improve Motivation & Engagement ✅ Increase Productivity & Profitability