Self-Action Leadership Model
Stage 1: Pre-Construction ~ Planning & Preparation
STEP 1: SELF-EDUCATION
“Formal education makes you a living; self-education makes you a legend.”
Successful self-action leaders don’t wait for the right teacher to come and teach them; they proactively seek out knowledge on their own, sometimes going to great lengths to find it.
Two other prominent examples of proactive self-education from the nineteenth century include Sequoyah, a Cherokee Indian responsible for creating a written alphabet for his people, and Frederick Douglass, who was a leading voice in the nineteenth century abolitionist movement, and the first Black man to be invited as a guest to the White House by a sitting U.S. President. I highly encourage studying the lives of these three remarkable men. I would start by reading Frederick Douglass’s famous personal narrative and then shopping around for credible biographies of Abraham Lincoln and Sequoyah.
Proactive self-action leaders spend a good portion of their time reading, writing, studying, listening to, and viewing, educational media. They ask questions, carefully observe their surroundings, and seek out information in whatever ways they can. In my case, there is no way to calculate the value of self-education in my life and career, but it has been an indispensable variable thereto, and has shaped every major success I’ve ever achieved.
Because you are responsible for the quality of your education, where you learn is secondary to what, why, and how well you learn. Whether you have opportunities to attend a top-rated university, a community college, or no college at all, you can choose to take responsibility for your own learning. With the presence of public libraries and the Internet, there is no need to make excuses about your lack of educational opportunities. No matter how hard it is for you to acquire knowledge in your current circumstances, chances are you still have far more access to information of all kinds than Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, or Sequoyah. As such, there is no need to make excuses about your lack of opportunities.
LEARNING TO LEARN
There are several different components of self-learning that you must focus on; education goes beyond the mere mental storage of facts. Understanding how you learn best (e.g., visual, auditory, kinesthetic),  where to go for information, how to access it, and the importance of your attitude, work ethic, discipline, and commitment are key components of acquiring an outstanding education.
REPETITION AND ROTE-LEARNING
The purposeful memorization of important facts, quotes, and poems empowers you to draw strength and inspiration from others. It also strengthens your memory muscles and bolsters your credibility in situations where you must demonstrate your knowledge to, or teach, others.
Repetition and rote learning is a vital component of a quality education. Engaging these practices require discipline and hard work. As such, it is often what separates top tier learners and performers from average ones.
A PHONE CALL FROM DR. STEPHEN R. COVEY
Ongoing self-and other training refers to education beyond the classroom. Examples include online courses, live classes, workshops, mentorships, personal reading, research, educational media, thinking/pondering, making observations, asking questions, and traveling. Self-education and other trainings are not one-time pursuits; they are habits to cultivate throughout your life. Based on my own experience, I highly recommend Dr. Covey’s advice. If you can’t squeeze in two hours of reading a day, commit to one hour. If you can’t squeeze in one hour, commit to half-an-hour. In this day and age, so much knowledge is available to all of us through the miracles of public libraries and the Internet. Don’t be lazy. Don’t let these precious resources go unused.
 Visit www.howtolearn.com to take a FREE Learning Style Survey and discover what your primary learning style is (visual, auditory, or kinesthetic).