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The Definitive Guide to Personal Excellence

Second Edition

March 2019 | 256 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 oneself to personal excellence. Grounded in the most recently published, cutting-edge self-leadership research, this milestone book is based on a simple yet revolutionary principle: first learn to lead yourself, then you will be able to effectively lead others. This inclusive approach to self-motivation and self-influence equips readers with the strategies and tips they need to strengthen their own personal effectiveness. The updated Second Edition resonates with today’s students by featuring contemporary examples, new cases, new feature boxes, and the latest research.

About the Authors
1. An Introduction to Self-Leadership: The Journey Begins

Sources of Leadership

We All Lead Ourselves


2. The Context of Self-Leadership: Mapping the Route
Conceptual Foundations of Self-Leadership

External Factors

Personal Factors

We Do Choose

3. Behavior-Focused Strategies: Overcoming Rough Roads, Detours, and Roadblocks
World-Altering Behavior-Focused Strategies

Self-Imposed Behavior-Focused Strategies

4. Natural Reward-Focused Strategies: Scenic Views, Sunshine, and the Joys of Traveling
Natural Rewards

What Makes Activities Naturally Rewarding?

Tapping the Power of Natural Rewards

Combining External and Natural Rewards

5. Constructive Thought-Focused Strategies: Developing a Travel Mind-Set
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

6. Team Self-Leadership: Sharing the Journey
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 versus Teamthink

7. Self-Leadership, Health, and Well-Being: Maintaining Physical and Emotional Fitness on the Journey
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

8. Individual Differences, Diversity, and Practical Applications: Multiple Paths to Uniqueness
Personality and Self-Leadership

Diversity and Self-Leadership

Applications in Athletics

Applications in Work/Organizational Situations

9. Reaching the Destination: But the Journey Continues . . .
A Self-Leadership Framework

A Tale of Self-Leadership

The Tale in Perspective

Personal Effectiveness

Some Additional Thoughts



Instructor Resources

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


  • Self-Leadership Research features have been updated or replaced to offer the most up-to-date, cutting-edge research, exposing students to timely developments in the field.
  • Real-World Self-Leadership Cases and new Profiles in Self-Leadership are updated to feature new, contemporary personalities that will resonate with today’s diverse students, with more cases featuring women and/or people of color.
  • Self-Leadership in the Movies features have been updated to reflect contemporary people and movies that showcase a greater degree of diversity, offering students relatable, exciting examples to keep them engaged.
  • All in-text examples and supporting citations have been updated.


  • 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 that illustrate self-leadership concepts and show readers how to apply them in their own lives.

Sage College Publishing

You can purchase this book and request an instructor sample on our US College site:

Go To College Site