LAST month, I conducted a seminar at the Commission on Appointments focusing on the topic Gender and Development: Equality at the Workplace. It was nice sharing with intellectually gifted people knowing they were all ears as I did a segue on ‘self-leadership’.

I put these quotes in bold letters on the screen and observed that they were ready to listen more…



Since I was a flight attendant for 10 years in our country’s flag carrier, I zoomed in to an example that clearly explains the quotes above.

Before a flight takes off, the crew demonstrate safety features of the aircraft. Safety is the main res­ponsibility of flight attendants, i.e., to bring passengers from their point of origin to their point of destination—safely.

The demonstration starts with the use of a seatbelt and progresses to the function and features of a life vest, then continues to the use of oxygen masks when these automatically drop from the compartments above passenger seats during rapid decompression.

While safety announcement says something like… “In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, oxygen masks will drop down from the panel above your head. When this happens, grab mask, place over your nose and mouth, and breathe normally. Keep mask on until you are advised to remove it. Remember to put on your oxygen mask first before assisting others.”

Loss of pressure is dangerous. Those who do not on their masks may suffer from hypoxia or loss of oxygen which can make one euphoric and potentially damage the brain further. It is important to take care of yourself first before assisting others. The need to secure your own mask to get a supply of oxygen is vital. This allows you to function well. When you are pretty much stable, then, you can start helping others. Somehow, the scenario is related to self-leadership, where you have to lead yourself first to bring about better results.

Self-leadership is intentionally helping yourself by influencing the way you think, feel and act. People at the workplace need to practice this. We must lead ourselves and purposely advance forward to have meaningful results. This is done by knowing our purpose both personal and professional; know what and how to prioritize things; and be able to focus to get things done. It also means being humble enough to admit that you do not know everything and that learning is a continues journey. Finally, self-leadership involves managing a well-ba­lanced lifestyle and conquering life with positive energy.

It is important to secure your oxygen mask, put it in a snug fit, breathe and then assist others.

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