Will you accept this ultimate challenge?

What’s the worst that can happen? Seriously?

You must.

It’s your duty.

Well, to be fair it’s your choice. Choose wisely my friend. Creating leaders is the most important purpose of leadership.

Leadership is more than you. It’s more than the ego. You create ‘we’. ‘We’ creates ‘us’. By creating more leaders, you become a great leader. This is important because creating leaders is cyclical. The leaders you help create, in turn, become great leaders, and so on. These new leaders, in turn, creating more great leaders. It’s exponential. Be exponential.

Did you know that ‘contrary to the opinion of many people, leaders are not born’?

‘Leaders are made, and they are made by effort and hard work’ (Vince Lombardi).

Once I made a firm decision to be a leader, I learnt, mainly through reading and learning by listening to others, that the most important purpose of being a leader and practising leadership is to create more leaders. By leading by example, you set the precedence for the next generation of leaders. That fateful day, on a beautiful spring morning in Brisbane, Australia, 2017, I committed to being a leader and to focusing on creating more leaders. I did not make this promise to anyone else, not my father, my mother, my sister, or my brother. I made this decision to me, myself, and I. I said, ‘I am Adam Bowcutt, and I am a leader.’ That day, my life changed – forever.

Say three times in the mirror ‘I am [your name], and I am a leader’.

Go on. I’ll wait. I’m not going to sugar-coat it. Doing this is extremely difficult for some people because it means getting out of your comfort zone. You may feel silly or weird. You may feel embarrassed. None of this matters, because the result is more important than the method. You will literally see yourself saying to yourself that you’re a leader. It’s a powerful thing.

Okay, did you do it? If you did, congratulations! If you didn’t, that’s fine too. I’m not here to judge. However, think about why you didn’t do it.

Reach out to three people in your immediate network. They could be family members, friends, colleagues – anyone you know. Now say something completely honest that you see in them, like a positive strength. Pick one thing and simply share it with them. You can call them by phone, text them, or use social media messaging. The important thing is to share your message with them authentically.

For example, I love sending messages to friends that simply say ‘You are awesome’. Imagine receiving a message like that from someone you know and believing it because you know deep down that the message is true.

By creating leaders, you enter the next level of leadership. Call it what you will – excellence, greatness, or radness. You end up making a positive impact on this world. How awesome is that?

PS. You are awesome.

Thank you for your valuable attention. Adam Bowcutt

Adapted from Confide: The New Psychology of Confidence. How to Power Up after Experiencing Depression

  • Adam Bowcutt

(before, during and after leading others)

Why is self-leadership critical before, during, and after leading others?

  1. You’ll become a much better leader.

  2. You’ll have much better mental health.

  3. Your team(s) will have much better mental health.

Did you know that approximately 66% of workers experienced burnout on the job? — Gallup global analytics

Back in 2016 I ‘adulted’ to such an unsustainable level that I experienced stress-induced clinical depression with ‘protective’ psychosis. I was hospitalised for my own safety. I did not have the mental health or brain capacity to realize that the choices and behaviors I’d made in the years prior to this disruptive episode would result in a life-changing; almost life-ending outcome.

In hindsight:

I did not practice self-leadership.

I did not practice self-care.

I did not focus on serving others, including myself.

I ended up simply going through the motions of an untenable and unfulfilling lifestyle until my mind and body could cope no more. It broke down. I broke down.

Now, I’ve learned from my past mistakes, rebuilt strength, and doing my best to help others to not make the same serious blunders. It’ll save you so much valuable time and heartache.

Being of service to others is massively important for leadership. But, what’s most important is creating a solid foundation of self-service and self-leadership so that you can effectively and sustainably serve others for the long-term.

Ok, now, how?

1 Self-Awareness

Practice improving your self-awareness skills

Observe the observer.

Create a daily habit allocating just five minutes to simply sitting with yourself and doing the following:

  1. Thinking – who are you?

  2. Detaching – from yourself, from your ego. Practice separating ‘you’ from your thoughts (the answer to 1)

  3. Observing – with non-attachment. See your ‘self’ from above. Zoom out so that you’re observing: imagining your physical body from a beautiful perspective on the moon. Yes, the moon.

Remember: you are not your thoughts. You are so much more, and then some! Repeat the cycle 1–2–3 for three rounds. Stick with it. Admittedly it’s not easy. Although, anything worth doing usually isn’t.

You’ll improve your awareness by practicing OTO (Observing The Observer) Bring self-awareness to your particular use of language, visuality, physicality. Respectively, how you hear your inner voice; see your mind’s eye; and feel your body will determine a current level of self-awareness.

2 Feedback-looping

Practice real-time feedback-looping Apply what you’ve discovered from your answers to 1 (Practising improving your self-awareness skills) to other areas of your day so that you allocate consistent time slots of five minutes throughout a 24 hour period.

This is when you’ll check-in with yourself again to observe the observer. Complete at least three cycles of 1–2–3 (Thinking, observing, detaching)


Because it will help you pause and reset in real-time and then carry on with your great day – reenergised

Remember: life is non-linear, even though everything may feel and look linear. In reality, with this feedback loop you’ll be able to measure where you actually are; mentally and physically. Applying strategies and unique solutions that will certainly help you to improve self-awareness.

In order to improve self-leadership so that you become a stronger leader for yourself and others; for powerful mental health; to reduce the potential problem of burnout: practice daily O.T.O’s (Observing The Observer)

Do daily feedback-looping to measure where you’re really at.

Self-leadership is critical before, during, and after leading others because you’ll build an almost unbreakable foundation transcending linear time; past, present, and future.

If you’re interested in delving deeper and potentially learning more please go ahead and ask a question here

Thank you for reading, Adam Bowcutt Mental Health Author

There’s only one growth strategy: work hard -William Hague

Strategy builds confidence, because you have a solid framework and action plan of what to do and, more importantly, what not to do. With clarity comes power, and with power is strength. You’ll gain mental strength, because you’ll know exactly what you’re focused on and why.

It’s like a pilot plotting a course to their destination. Careful and strategic planning is considered before take-off. Safety, weather, weight, fuel, and other variables come into play. For example, a pilot is skilled in the technical aspects of flying a plane. She is also skilled in map-reading, leadership, and collaborating with her team, especially the air traffic controllers. Once the plane is airborne after a successful take-off, the captain must now manage and control the plane to get

all passengers to the agreed destination safely and in good time. All of a sudden, there’s a faint shudder, and the aircraft tilts violently, with no warning. What happened?

Now to ensure the safety of all four hundred passengers, the captain must

adapt to a potentially life-threatening situation with calmness, speed, and


Strategic thinking is all about using the power of your mind to execute your

Strategy. ‘What is my strategy?’ you ask. Patience, my friend. We’ll get to

that. But first, let’s go back to our captain, piloting the 300,000 kg flying

chunk of metal hurtling through the sky at 900 km/h. What is going through our pilot’s mind? Panic? No. If this captain panics and loses control of her thoughts, four hundred humans’ lives are at risk of being lost too. So now is the time to see if the strategy works in reality. All the years of training, flight school, leadership skills, growth mindset, and technical mastery comes into play. This is it.

In a calm and controlled manner, our captain makes a critical assessment of

the situation in the most effective way she knows. I leave the technical details

to your imagination. Then our composed pilot delivers a clear message to the

passengers: ‘Hello, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls. What you just

experienced was a result of a small foreign body entering one of our engines.

I’m here to reassure you that everything is going to be okay and it’s under

control. You may feel some unfamiliar movements of the plane. Please do

your best to remain calm. Our highly trained flight attendants are here for

you, as am I. Thank you for choosing to fly with ...’ You get the story.

Now the story ends successfully, with our courageous pilot flying the plane to

the nearest landing strip by following emergency protocol. You see, it’s all

part of the strategy.

Turns out a griffon vulture had flown directly into one of the jet engines! It

was a serious emergency situation. With leadership, critical thinking,

calmness of mind, training, and execution of a strategy, our captain literally

saved four hundred lives from death.

The importance of strategic thinking cannot be underestimated.

How will you incorporate strategic thinking into your daily life?


Thinking strategically is massively important because it helps you open your mind in thinking of a way that is more likely for you to reach your goals connected to your core values. So in a sense, it’s a way of thinking by zooming out and observing the observer. You are the observer. You’re thinking about your environment, in your environment. However, when you begin to think strategically and practise strategic thinking, you begin to observe the observer. You can look and think from a different perspective, which in turn will help you realise that thinking strategically is beneficial not only for yourself but also other people. So it’s a practice. The more you practise, the better you will become.


An influential aspect of strategic thinking involves your goals, what you will do?

SMART goals

S is for specific.

M is for measurable.

A is for attainable.

R is for relevant.

T is for time-sensitive.

Smart goals enable you to be specific about your goals. It’s highly likely

you’ll be able to achieve them, because you have clarified exactly what your

goals are, and clarity is power.

Now write down your goals on a piece of paper. Writing on a piece of paper

ensures 80 percent of retention, so your goal starts to act yourself into your

mind and your psyche. Once you’ve done this, you can create your strict

action plan by thinking strategically. So start to purposefully write the following letters on a clean sheet of paper or simply type them up on your smartphone or laptop.

S _______

M ______

A ______

R _______

T _______

Why do you want to achieve this one smart goal?

Why is it important to you?

Then write it down.

For me, the most important purpose for my goal is, one of my goals is to spend quality time with my son, Zachary. That’s my purpose. My purpose is to spend quality time with my son, because my values are family, love, and spending time with my son. Time is more valuable than money and two children. Love equals time, time spent with them.


Then you write your results. What results do you want? Be specific. For

example, I would like to spend two hours every other day with my son

outside in nature. Be as specific as possible, and then you can write one to three results—specific results—you want to achieve. Then you write your

purposeful action plan. So what specific actions are you going to take with respect to purpose and results you want to achieve? What actions are you going to take? For example, schedule time in your calendar at 4 p.m. I’m going to spend time between 4pm and 6pm. I’m going to pick my son, Zachary, up from the daycare. I’m going to go and play football with him in the park for two hours. That’s the action plan.

You can create one to three actions that you’re going to take, then from those actions, you can break them down into priorities. You can prioritise the action, to most important meeting and least important, and then you can categorise them into two times. Then you can schedule them. What gets scheduled gets done.

Thinking strategically is massively important to reaching your goals. Use your SMART goals to realise your strategy. Execute your strategy to get to your goals, whether they are short-term or long-term, and they’re really purposeful and important to you. By thinking strategically, it increases your motivation—relentless motivation—and increases your energy. And energy is awesome.


When you think strategically, it’s massively powerful in how you create your

reality, your personal reality, and your personality. It improves focus, because you’re focused on where you want to go, what you want to do with your life. Your daily life for your entire life. This includes, business, relationships, and financially. Clarity is power. So what is strategy, and what is thinking strategically? It’s opening your mind to a way of thinking about how you’ll get to where you want to go. What you will do and what you won’t do determines your long-term strategy. It’s a dynamic action plan focused on a long-term future outcome or result.

Ask yourself these questions:

What’s most important to you?

What are your core values?

Where do you want to be in five years’ time or even ten years’ time or


Building a foundational structure helps you plan out your strategy, what you

will and won’t do. Here’s an analogy. An aircraft and pilot leave the airport.

They know the coordinates. They know where they need to get to, and know

their destination. Beforehand, they have a strategy and a goal. There are

various situations and variables. For example, the weather. The weather could

change. For example, slight adjustments need to be made during the process,

so the pilot might have to adjust the route slightly. However, he’ll still get to

the destination, being adaptable and making slight adjustments, focusing on

the process to enable the outcome to happen which is the destination. Benjamin Franklin said ‘Failing to plan is planning to fail’, so make sure you have a great plan in place by thinking strategically about what you can do. Once you’ve answered your questions honestly and authentically, you can reverse-engineer an action plan, your dynamic action plan, your strategy. Work backwards, say, in five years’ time, four years, three years, two years, one year, up until today. Then you’ll have a great framework to execute your plan.


Start to meditate. Meditating regularly gives your mind and body a gap of

time and space, some space and time to connect with who you are, your

mind, and your body, and it really helps you zoom out of all the noise, of all the chatter that’s going on in the world, in your world, and all the

distractions. This helps you refocus and gain balance in mind. It helps

creative thinking and being able to execute your strategy.

Thinking strategically is massively important in realising your life goals by implementing a dynamic action plan with what you will do and what you won’t do, connected to your values and goals. Have fun with it and be patient and enjoy the process.

Three challenges for you:

1. Meditate for two minutes in silence, focusing purely on your

breath, simply inhaling and exhaling. If thoughts come to you,

racing thoughts, observe them and let them be. Imagine your

thoughts are wispy clouds that are moving across the sky with a

gentle breeze.

2. Think of a creative idea. Think of a random object. Do your best

to connect two seemingly random ideas together. To create a new

idea, write down on a piece of paper two random items that come to

mind. For example, it could be a banana and a cloud. Then think of

an idea from those two items.

3. Think of your last argument with someone. It could have been a

colleague, or it could have been a family member or partner. Think

about how it made you feel, and then think in hindsight about how

you could have implemented a strategy. How you could’ve thought

strategically to create a better outcome for both parties to create a

win–win outcome. Write it down. It’s one for your archives.

Thank you for reading!

Adam Bowcutt

Please feel free to also read: 5 Simple Ways to Become More Creative; Boost Confidence & Add Value

Adapted from Confide: The New Psychology of Confidence. How to Power Up after Experiencing Depression

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