Why Self-Leadership is Critical

Adam Bowcutt
3 min readApr 4, 2021

(before, during and after leading others)

Why is self-leadership critical before, during and after leading others?

  1. You’ll become a much better leader.
  2. You’ll have much better mental health.
  3. Your team(s) will have much better mental health.

Did you know that approximately 66% of workers experienced burnout on the job? — Gallup global analytics

Back in 2016 I ‘adulted’ to such an unsustainable level that I experienced stress-induced clinical depression with ‘protective’ psychosis. I was hospitalised for my own safety. I did not have the mental health or brain capacity to realize that the choices and behaviors I’d made in the years prior to this disruptive episode would result in a life-changing; almost life-ending outcome.

In hindsight:

I did not practice self-leadership.

I did not practice self-care.

I did not focus on serving others, including myself.

I ended up simply going through the motions of an untenable and unfulfilling lifestyle until my mind and body could cope no more. It broke down. I broke down.

Now, I’ve learned from my past mistakes, rebuilt strength, and doing my best to help others to not make the same serious blunders. It’ll save you so much valuable time and heartache.

Being of service to others is massively important for leadership. But, what’s most important is creating a solid foundation of self-service and self-leadership so that you can effectively and sustainably serve others for the long-term.

Ok, now, how?

1 Self-Awareness

Practice improving your self-awareness skills

Observe the observer.

Create a daily habit allocating just five minutes to simply sitting with yourself and doing the following:

  1. Thinking – who are you?
  2. Detaching – from yourself, from your ego. Practice separating ‘you’ from your thoughts (the answer to 1)
  3. Observing – with non-attachment. See your ‘self’ from above. Zoom out so that you’re observing: imagining your physical body from a beautiful perspective on the moon. Yes, the moon.

Remember: you are not your thoughts. You are so much more, and then some!

Repeat the cycle 1–2–3 for three rounds. Stick with it. Admittedly it’s not easy. Although, anything worth doing usually isn’t.

You’ll improve your awareness by practicing OTO (Observing The Observer) Bring self-awareness to your particular use of language, visuality, physicality. Respectively, how you hear your inner voice; see your mind’s eye; and feel your body will determine a current level of self-awareness.

2 Feedback-looping

Practice real-time feedback-looping

Apply what you’ve discovered from your answers to 1 (Practising improving your self-awareness skills) to other areas of your day so that you allocate consistent time slots of five minutes throughout a 24 hour period. This is when you’ll check-in with yourself again to observe the observer.

Complete at least three cycles of 1–2–3 (Thinking, observing, detaching)

Why? Because it will help you pause and reset in real-time and then carry on with your great day – reenergised

Remember: life is non-linear, even though everything may feel and look linear.

In reality, with this feedback loop you’ll be able to measure where you actually are; mentally and physically. Applying strategies and unique solutions that will certainly help you to improve self-awareness.

In order to improve self-leadership so that you become a stronger leader for yourself and others; for powerful mental health; to reduce the potential problem of burnout: practice daily O.T.O’s (Observing The Observer)

Do daily feedback-looping to measure where you’re really at.

Self-leadership is critical before, during, and after leading others because you’ll build an almost unbreakable foundation transcending linear time; past, present, and future.

If you’re interested in delving deeper and potentially learning more please go ahead and ask a question here

Thank you for reading,

Adam Bowcutt



Adam Bowcutt

Mental Health Author | I am Adam Bowcutt and I am rewriting mental wealth