Journal of Educational Leadership in Action


The ability of an organization to survive and to be successful relates to its potential to adapt to a changing environment. The competence to perceive relevant stimuli from the outside and the inside of the organization constitutes a prerequisite for organizational adaptability. Consequently, appropriate perception is a crucial factor for individuals and teams to decide and behave in a productive way.

Self-leadership may be defined as “a comprehensive self-influence perspective that concerns leading oneself toward performance of naturally motivating tasks as well as managing oneself to do work that must be done but is not naturally motivating” (Manz, 1986, p. 589). In addition to self-management, the concept of self-leadership not only addresses the “how” of self-influence. Additionally, also the “what” and “why” are covered. Through the focus on the “why” and “what” of self-influence, individual self-leaders address the underlying reasons for effort and behavior (Manz, 2014). Increased self-leadership corresponds with better affective responses and improved work performance (Stewart, Courtright & Manz, 2011).

In this paper we apply a multi-disciplinary analysis of human perception. From this basis we derive guiding principles for self-leadership in the educational context. They are expected to provide the foundation for the improved perception of relevant internal and external stimuli by the leader of an educational organization. More integrated and sustainable decision-making and realization of decisions is suggested to be a core implication.

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.