The Power of Self-Leadership: Crafting a Life of Virtue

Jonathan Doyle International Speaker, Author, Executive Coach and Mentor .

Welcome to the Daily Podcast with Jonathan Doyle, where he explores the transformative power of self-leadership. Join Jonathan as he delves into how daily habits shape our lives and why exercising self-leadership is essential for personal growth. Tune in for practical wisdom and encouragement. Take charge of your life and become the protagonist of your own story.

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    Welcome Aboard

    Well, hello there, my friend, Jonathan Doyle with you. Welcome aboard to the Daily Podcast. If you are listening on audio, is actually simultaneously a video because I am on a speaking tour in the beautiful state of Tasmania. I know for many of my American viewers and listeners is terribly exotic. I must say, it is a very beautiful part of the world. I’m here in Hobart.

    I’ve had the pleasure today of speaking to a large group of senior leaders. I’m doing a speaking tour on the topic of virtue-based leadership. So you’re going to be seeing this either as a video or as an audio. Either way, you are very welcome, wherever you’re watching or listening. Please make sure you’ve subscribed. If you’re on YouTube, hit the subscribe button here. That makes a big difference. On the podcast version, please subscribe. Everything is on Instagram: @jdoylespeaks, and the website is

    As I finish this video audio today, I’m going to jump in the car and do a 25-kilometer run to the top of Mount Wellington, which is a 2000-meter vertical climb. I’ve no idea what I’m in for, and I just guess we’re going to go find out. So that’s a good reason to follow me on Instagram, because that is where I am publishing today’s insanity.

    Self-Leadership: Your Path to Success

    Self-Leadership Path to Success

    Now, the purpose of today’s message, my friend, is simply that one of the principles I talked about this morning in this leadership session was around the concept of self-leadership. You see, leadership is something that we obviously recognize in senior people. We look at senior politicians or military leaders, and we recognize the role of being a senior leader. But one of the most important things I do with the audience is talk about this concept of self-leadership.

    I’ll make the point that when most of us were at school, you may remember how we always had the best-looking kids. It was like a popularity contest, and the best-looking kids got senior leadership roles. If you’re anything like me, I remember hearing the line from either the principal or other senior leaders.

    They’d say things like, Well, you know, we’re all leaders. We want you to understand. And I remember sitting there going, Nah, that’s not true. But I have been very disabused of that notion in recent years, and I’ve been converted to the very clear belief that I do believe that we are all leaders.

    Leading Ourselves: The Journey of Becoming and the Power of Actions

    Power of Actions - Lead Ourselves
    Our actions have a profound impact on shaping who we become

    What I said to the audience today was simply that we are always leading ourselves somewhere. The nature of our existence is that we’re not just human beings; we are human becomings. We shape ourselves profoundly through our actions. I often tell the story of my second master’s degree, which was in philosophical anthropology. I talk a lot about Aristotle and Greek philosophy, and, you know, Aristotle was once asked, How does a courageous person become courageous?

    Because the Greeks wanted to know whether people were just born courageous or whether they became courageous, if you think about it, if you’re just born a particular way and you can’t change it, then why bother trying? But Aristotle said something very interesting. He simply said, The courageous person does courageous things.

    This was a really revolutionary idea because it was moving beyond the cultural ideas at that time of fate, and the gods just made people certain ways to accept this idea that we become what we do. How do you become courageous? Well, you start doing courageous things. Small, courageous things. They don’t have to be huge. 

    Building Success Through Habitual Excellence

    Woman Decision-making as part of Self-Leadership
    Our daily decisions hold the power to shape and mold our lives in unique ways

    For this concept of self-leadership, I was talking about virtue ethics, which really means that we have this unique ability to shape, create, and mold our lives by the quality and content of our regular daily decisions. It’s a bit of an extreme example, but the fact that I’m about to go and run 25 kilometers means I’m not saying you should do it. But t’s something that I’ve built up to over the years, but the fact that I do that exercise every single day—not that particular thing, but I keep fit—is a habit.

    It’s something that shapes who I am and shapes my experience of the world. So I really want you to understand, my friend, that our habits, what we might call our virtues, really shape us in powerful ways.

    This self-leadership idea is simply the idea that you are leading yourself somewhere, and it’s not neutral. And the life that you will have over time will very much be the life that you construct through your daily habits, decisions, and choices. I would offer you the insight that it’s important that we pay attention to the quality and content of our daily habits and choices, because that is the essence of self-leadership. And I think our world would be a remarkably different place if those leading us had really exercised virtue and self-leadership before seeking positions of power.

    Learning from Legends: Ulysses S. Grant's Leadership Legacy

    Consistent Daily Hard Work For Building Self-Leadership Skills
    The key lies in daily, consistent hard work to grow and shape ourselves

    I mentioned recently that I’m reading a 1,000-page biography of U.S. Civil War General Ulysses S. Grant. The character that he had, the kind of toughness that he demonstrated, and the magnanimity and qualities of his character had so much to do with this self-leadership piece. When the time came for him to lead on a national scale he was affected because he’d spent so many years building his own personal virtue through his habit.

    There are no shortcuts in life. There’s no simple answer other than doing the daily, consistent hard work of growing and forming ourselves in virtue. My friend, habits are where it’s at.

    Conclusion and Call to Action

    Jonathan Doyle International Speaker, Author, Executive Coach and Mentor
    Jonathan Doyle International Speaker, Author, Executive Coach and Mentor

    So I’m going to go and indulge myself in the habit of running up a ridiculous mountain. Keep me in your prayers. Let’s see what happens. But for now, please make sure you subscribe. Go check out Instagram: @jdoylespeaks; everything else is on the website:

    God bless you, my friend. Go do some self-leadership, take control, and step into your own life. You are not a passive observer; you are the protagonist; you have agency; you are the main event in your own life. Go get it.

    My name is Jonathan Doyle; this has been the Daily Podcast and/or video, and you and I are going to talk again tomorrow. 

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    Jonathan Doyle


    I’m on a mission to liberate the potential of the incredible people that make up your organisation, school, or business.

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