Strength, Balance and Resiliency as Leaders | Part 1: The Virtue of Self-Leadership

Breaking news from Captain Obvious: There’s a lot of chaos in the world.

And while I write this article in the hours between the August debacle in Afghanistan and the 20th anniversary of the attack that motivated my deployment to that region years ago, the truth still nags: Chaos has always churned on, within and around planet Earth.

Right down to its molten innards and the volcanos that spit it out to rain; right down to its tectonic shifts that quake and break the surface beneath our feet and foundations; right up into its moody winds, atmospheric fits and punishing torrents; and right back down to countless civilizations to inhabit it amid theft, murder, corruption and warfare, the adage stands: In terms of the presence of chaos, “There’s nothing new under the sun.”

The sooner we each face it, the better: It’s nature (and for some, unfortunately, it’s human nature), and much of life on Earth is beyond your control or mine. The irony is that only by embracing that fact can we fully realize the value in developing one of our greatest individual super-powers: self-control.

I urge you to never underestimate the significance of this virtue. When an individual understands and optimizes its potential, the reach of influence can be legendary. To anyone who doubts the significance of this, I would simply cite the evidence: Despite the chaos, despite the odds, humanity on Earth endures.

Self-Control is Self-Leadership. And Leadership is Life.

Self-control enables a person to lead himself over, under, around or through the chaos created by external forces, to breach the barriers to his objectives — just as I learned and did throughout my 21-year Navy SEAL career. Self-control enables a person to lead herself through the self-charted courses toward a self-appointed destination along her self-defined mission for her self-envisioned life. And as we lead ourselves well in our personal and professional objectives, others will notice. Some may try to thwart the mission. Some may not care at all. But some will be inspired to follow, emulate and even assist. (For inspiration, consider the impacts of the lives and leadership of such great models as General George Washington, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and German industrialist Oskar Schindler.)

Self-control is the key to effective self-leadership, and excellence in self-leadership is the key to overcoming the adversity, savoring the fruits, and even leading others in life. (I flesh this concept out in-depth in my LEARN to Lead keynotes, but keep that abridged statement in mind going forward.)

Developing Strength, Balance and Resiliency for Impact as Leaders

Effective self-leadership requires strength, balance and discipline — strength in the face of whatever may surface; balance to stand with unshakeable faith, courage and conviction despite external instabilities; and discipline to persevere. This is how humanity endures. And this is the mark of those individual humans who endure the harshest, most daunting, traumatic or devastating conditions only to come out stronger, better and more successful on the other side. 

Sure, “success” is subjective, as it should be. At its core, success is a very personal thing. In fact, ideally it will align with one’s own life mission (what’s that?). But this year’s review of my most requested keynote and coaching topics revealed that however they define success, people are increasingly striving for resiliency, balance and leadership in their personal and professional lives. On some level, they understand that they cannot succeed to their potential without it. The challenge for many is how to attain it.

So I continue to develop solutions under three broad “umbrella” themes — Overcoming Adversity, Leadership, and Elite Performance — helping others to cultivate a relentless Overcome Mindset, manage stress, increase resiliency and productivity, become more balanced and effective leaders, forge unbreakable elite teams, and create lasting positive change despite failure, crisis and even massive adversity.

In this article series, I’ll guide you to explore a concept that I developed specifically for building strength, balance, discipline and stability within five essential realms of self- and life-leadership: physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual. I call it the Pentagon of Peak Performance, and I expand upon it to different extents in a variety of keynotes, online courses and coaching programs and in-depth in my popular Pointman for Life model.

Strength and stability in each area begins with developing balance and discipline.

Balance is about weight and counterweight. The weight of the world must be countered, or offset, by something to prevent it from crashing you to the ground. Discipline is about commitment and perseverance. As you develop these, you’ll be stabilizing yourself and priming yourself for strength-building in these realms — just like how you would prepare for the heavy lifting at the gym.

Subsequent articles will explore each area as follows, so be sure to check back in or sign up for my newsletter at to be notified when they post:

The articles will include specific insights and challenges from my 72 Hours to Peak Performance online course. Meanwhile, do a preliminary self-assessment of your strength and balance in the five areas of the Pentagon listed above. On a scale of 0 – 10, rate your levels of attention, engagement, and gratification/fulfillment in each, then write a few sentences for each about how you would define the concept, how strong, balanced and stable you do or don’t feel in that area, and what you can do beginning today to improve where needed:

Physical Leadership: Attention ___  Engagement ___  Gratification/Fulfillment ___  Total: ___


Mental Leadership: Attention ___  Engagement ___  Gratification/Fulfillment ___  Total: ___


Emotional Leadership: Attention __  Engagement ___  Gratification/Fulfillment ___  Total:___


Social Leadership: Attention ___  Engagement ___  Gratification/Fulfillment ___  Total: _____


Spiritual Leadership: Attention ___  Engagement ___  Gratification/Fulfillment ___  Total: ___


Want more? Choose your weapon:

For extra support, check out my group and individual coaching options at, get a copy of my new Pointman Planner or learn more about my 72 Hours to Peak Performance ($49.99) and How to Build the Overcome Mindset ($29.99) online courses.

Until then …

“Lead Always and Overcome All,”

Jason Redman

Since retiring in 2013 from my 21-year U.S. Navy SEAL career, I’ve made it my mission to transfer my military leadership training, experience and skills to helping individuals and organizations to lead and launch themselves and their teams to elite performance. I accomplish this through an array of speaking topics, courses, books and coaching programs I’ve developed based largely upon proven SEAL and special-operations mission-centric and leadership techniques.

How can I be of service to you or your organization?

For information about my speaking offerings, visit

Nearly all the topics covered in this series are also currently or soon-to-be available in an array of coaching programs, online courses and books, including bestsellers “The Trident: The Forging and Reforging of a Navy SEAL Leader,”  “Overcome: Crush Adversity With the Leadership Techniques of America’s Toughest Warriors” and new Pointman Planner.  Visit:

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