In this series of articles, I introduce the concept of self-empowerment. The concept comes from the book “Self-Empowered Leadership”, which I wrote together with Jens Bergstein and Felicitas Ritter. At its core, self-empowerment means to be in the driver’s seat: You decide pro-actively who you are as a leader and how you relate to critical leadership situations. In short: Get out of the hamster wheel! In the last part, I will explain the concrete steps for more self-empowerment.



Development as a leader does not happen linearly, but in the cycle of four steps. These are necessary to explore, define, test, and live your personal way of leadership constantly: Awareness, Attraction, Action, and Alignment. In these steps, you will practice four competencies that will enable you to act in harmony with yourself and the current situation at any time in everyday life and so to be effective as a leader. The four competencies are: (1) Be mindful of yourself and the situation you are in; (2) make clear decisions based on what is important to you and relevant to the situation; (3) align and plan your actions according to your inner beliefs AND the demands of the situation and (4) reflect on where you are right now and how you can integrate and expand what you have learned.


Step 1: Awareness

This is about exploring internally and externally, and looking at the situation without bias, but whilst being emotionally involved. For interior types of leaders, the focus is on exploring their own goals, needs, and values. This forms the basis for not losing oneself, and to avoid looking one-sidedly at the outside. External types of leaders are primarily concerned with their organizational environment and the expectations of stakeholders. It’s about understanding what gives us energy and what robs us of energy. This is the basis for the second step.


Step 2: Attraction

Who are you as a leader and what do you want to bring to the world? It’s not so much about creating a distant leadership vision of yourself, but rather about contributing your strengths as a leader. However, you should also develop the sides of your leadership personality that are important to you but still underrepresented in your leadership behavior. This mobilizes the necessary resources within yourself to stand up for what is important to you in leadership.


Step 3: Action

Now it’s a matter of minimizing leadership frustration and getting into a state of passion for leadership. This means independently leading in a way that comes from within and is connected to the outside: How can you firmly anchor your leadership to your everyday life with the help of routines and practices? What do you want to change, what measures do you want to initiate? In this way, exterior types ensure that they do not lose themselves in the first storm, but always fall back on their inner compass. Exterior types are given the opportunity to remain permanently in contact with the outside without losing their own energy.


Step 4: Alignment

Sustainable learning requires pausing from time to time to look back: What have you learnt about yourself and your self-image as a leader? How do the new practices and changes you’ve established feel? Have you gotten a little closer to your core as a leader that is worth displaying? What is still unresolved? Based on these questions, you can set out on the path again – in harmony with yourself and the situation at hand.


What now? Our workbook helps you to systematically identify the causes of leadership frustration and desire to lead and to empower yourself on your way to more independence and effectiveness in your leadership: