Every personal leadership journey needs a plan. A route to take, a direction to head towards, a way of knowing we are progressing and something we are 100% accountable for. Personal leadership is all about defining your leadership direction and moving towards it with consistency and clarity.

So, what does ROAD mean?

R is for Responsibility

Being serious about developing your leadership abilities requires a focused mind and taking responsibility for what you want to achieve in your life. While it may sound like a cliché, you are in control of your personal brand and only you can ensure you are perceived by others in the way you want to be. Good personal leadership requires you to know exactly where you stand on powerful subjects such as ethics, integrity, transparency, and values. Making any behavioural change starts with taking responsibility and truly believing in the change you want to make.

O is for Outcomes

Personal leadership requires success factors to be decided at the start. Put simply, where are you now and where do you want to be? Success is different for everyone, so ensuring you know what success looks like for you is critical. Consider what you want to achieve, why and by when? What is your priority? How will these outcomes contribute to your core purpose? Knowing these allows you to build the plan to get there.

A is for Action

Whilst planning is a fundamental part of the ROAD tool, not a lot will happen unless we get into gear and accelerate! It’s about making clear decisions, and perhaps sacrifices, that you commit yourself to achieve what you want for your personal development. Consistent and sustained action requires energy and focus, so managing your energy in all areas of your life is important. Turning actions into habits, although a challenge, will start to eliminate possible relapses and move you closer to your personal leadership goals.

D is for Discipline

Possibly the hardest one of all, remaining disciplined around your agreed actions is the key to success. Again, this is about making habits out of your actions and repeatedly reminding yourself of the reasons why you are committing yourself to change.


ROAD provides an excellent approach to self-development. Whether your goals are personal or career-based, it works!

Jonny Wilkinson’s biography makes a very pertinent point about the subject of personal leadership:

“I like to imagine myself, as life, as being under permanent surveillance from a video camera. I could play back the tape, totally content that it shows a good representation of who I am as a person and as a rugby player. It is about being strong in professional terms and having values that never slip”


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