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The Definitive Guide to Personal Excellence

July 2016 | 240 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Written by the scholars who first developed the theory of self-leadership, Self-Leadership: The Definitive Guide to Personal Excellence offers powerful yet practical advice for leading yourself to personal excellence. Grounded in research, this milestone book is based on a simple yet revolutionary principle: First learn to lead yourself, and then you will be in a solid position to effectively lead others. This inclusive approach to self-motivation and self-influence equips readers with the strategies and tips they need to build a strong foundation in the study of management, as well as enhancing their own personal effectiveness.

Chapter 1: An Introduction to Self-Leadership
Sources of Leadership  
We All Lead Ourselves  
Chapter 2: The Context of Self-Leadership
Self-Leadership Conceptual Foundations  
External Factors  
Personal Factors  
We Do Choose  
Chapter 3: Behavior-Focused Strategies
World-Altering Behavior-Focused Strategies  
Self-Imposed Behavior-Focused Strategies  
Chapter 4: Natural Reward Focused Strategies
Natural Rewards  
What Makes Activities Naturally Rewarding?  
Tapping the Power of Natural Rewards  
Combining External and Natural Rewards  
Chapter 5: Constructive Thought-Focused Strategies
Our Psychological Worlds  
Is There Power in Positive Thinking?  
Evaluating Beliefs and Assumptions  
Mental Practice  
Thought Patterns  
Opportunity or Obstacle Thinking  
The Power of Failure  
Chapter 6: Team Self-Leadership
Self-Leadership and Teams  
Behavioral Aspects of Team Self-Leadership  
Mental Aspects of Team Self-Leadership  
Team Self-Leadership Still Means Individual Self-Leadership  
Balancing the “Me” With the “We”  
Groupthink vs. Teamthink  
Chapter 7: Self-Leadership, Health and Well-Being
Self-Leadership and Fitness  
What Executives Say About the Importance of Fitness  
The Impact of Fitness on Job Performance  
Executive Fitness Behaviors at a Glance  
Exercise and Diet: The Keys to Fitness  
Self-Leadership, Fitness, and Personal Effectiveness  
Choosing How You Feel: Emotional Self-Leadership  
Emotional Intelligence and Self-Leadership  
Coping With Stress: Self-Leadership and Stress Management  
Optimism and Self-Leadership  
Happiness, Flow, and Self-Leadership  
Chapter 8: Individual Differences, Diversity, and Practical Applications
Personality and Self-Leadership  
Diversity and Self-Leadership  
Self-Leadership Applied to Personal Problems  
Applications in Athletics  
Applications in Work/Organizational Situations  
Chapter 9: Reaching the Destination
The Tale in Perspective  
Personal Effectiveness  
Some Additional Thoughts  


Instructor Resource Site

Password-protected Instructor Resources include the following:

  • A Microsoft® Word® test bank is available containing multiple choice, true/false, and essay questions for each chapter. The test bank provides you with a diverse range of pre-written options as well as the opportunity for editing any question and/or inserting your own personalized questions to effectively assess students’ progress and understanding.
  • Editable, chapter-specific Microsoft® PowerPoint® slides offer you complete flexibility in easily creating a multimedia presentation for your course.
  • Case notes include summary, analysis, and answers to case questions, providing an essential reference and teaching tool.
  • Carefully selected, web-based video links feature relevant interviews, lectures, personal stories, inquiries, and other content for use in independent or classroom-based explorations of key topics.
Student Study Site

The open-access Student Study Site includes the following:

  • Carefully selected, web-based video links feature relevant interviews, lectures, personal stories, inquiries, and other content for use in independent or classroom-based explorations of key topics.
Key features


  • Examines the behavioral, emotional, cognitive, physiological, and team aspects of self-leadership, providing readers with a holistic understanding of self-motivation and self-leadership
  • Balances theory and practice to equip readers with the skills necessary to navigate challenging circumstances, uncertainty, and ambiguity    
  • Promotes engagement and encourages reflection and creativity through self-assessment and experiential exercises to help readers think and behave as leaders
  • Features real-world cases and profiles of leaders illustrate self-leadership concepts and show readers how to apply them in their own lives

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 3

Chapter 5

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