Lead on Purpose

Promoting Leadership Principles in Product Management

Self-coaching methods to improve your leadership

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Guest post by John Packham

The debate is still out about whether leaders are born or made, but if you are looking to up your leadership game this year, you’ll want to do what all great leaders do: practice self-coaching. While you might think that leaders spend most of their time helping others to be their best selves, they also spend a lot of time taking care of their own mental health, physical strength, and personal well-being.


Even the best leaders can become better at what they do, and that’s part of what makes them brilliant. They are humble and recognize their weaknesses on a regular basis; but they don’t accept them. They work toward becoming better versions of themselves so they can help others. If you are a leader or want to be a leader, here are some of the best self-coaching methods for you to adopt this year.

The 5-Second Rule

Mel Robbins created the 5-second rule, and wrote a book about it, when she realized that she needed to get off her butt and get moving. She knew that no one was coming to save her and no one was going to help her achieve her goals. She had to get out of bed and put her pants on one leg at a time, like everyone else. She used the 5-second rule to accomplish so much more in her life.

The 5-second rule is this: when you feel fear or hesitation set in, count backwards from 5 and when you get to 1, go. The 5-second rule is a powerful self-coaching method that can help you make better decisions, and take action in your leadership role so that you don’t let fear or uncertainty get in your way.

Positive Affirmations

One of the leading self-coaching methods that has come about over the last 10 years is the idea of engaging in positive affirmations. This can be as simple as writing notes to yourself before work, or recording your affirmations on your phone to play them back whenever you need a little pick-me-up. There are a lot of experts and thought leaders on positive affirmations who show you ways to manifest what you want in your life. As a leader, it’s important to remind yourself that the work you are doing is important, especially when things get tough at work.


The best leaders look for opportunities to become better versions of themselves. They recognize the need to come from a place of abundance and gratitude. Most people spend too much time thinking about all the things they don’t have, and don’t spend enough time thinking about things, people, experiences, and love that they do have. When you take time to practice gratitude on a regular basis you will start to see the amazing things in your life, which will make you happier and more productive overall. As a leader, it’s important to recognize what’s going well at work, and how you can capitalize on those wins, to move productivity along and help your team succeed.

Critical Reflection

Everyone falls down from time to time, but great leaders don’t let it stop them from getting up and trying again. People who retreat from failure will never achieve the things they want in life. Great leaders need to be willing to fail if they are going to succeed. This means that if you are willing to fail, you can learn from that failure. Critical reflection is an important self-coaching method for leaders because spending time thinking about what happened and how you can do better next time, improves performance and confidence levels.

As you head into the new year, think about the things you want to accomplish as a leader and consider using some of these self-coaching methods as a way to stay in touch with your practice and ensure you continue to grow as an effective leader. Continue to work at it and push yourself outside your comfort zone to become the best leader possible. Self-coaching can help you get there.

Questions: How has self-coaching helped you or your organization? What are your preferred methods for self-improvement? Please leave a comment in the space below.


John Packham: Having grown up in a family owned business, and now working as the Content Director for Karrass – a company specializing in negotiation training for businesses – John is grateful for the many opportunities he’s had to share his passion for business and writing.

The Product Management Perspective: Successful product managers are self-aware and confident. If you’re having any doubts about the work you’re leading, take the time to implement these self-coaching methods.

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