I would say that one of the foundational focus areas for an effective Christian leader is one’s “self”.
Yet this may be a conceptual hurdle over which many believers stumble.
For do not the gospel documents themselves encourage us to “deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow” Jesus? (Matt. 16:24)? Is not the disciple of Jesus to “hate … even his own life …” (Luke 14:25)? Are believers not instructed to “first … be slave of all.” (Mark 10:43)? Christian discipleship also utilizes the image of “dethroning self” to let Jesus be King!
So, is it just being selfish when a Christian leader focuses first on herself, or himself?
The answer of course is “No!” And a basic reason is that we need to have a “self”. Without it, we cannot surrender, deny, or serve with. Indeed, Jesus implies, (along with Leviticus 19:18), that without a self whom we “love” we are incapable of loving our neighbours (Matthew 22:39). Paradoxically, we could even argue that without a properly developed “self” we cannot be “selfish”!
Further than this however, we need a “self” with which to lead. Without that, those whom we might be seeking to lead will wonder who it is they are following, or if there is anyone at all that they are following rather than a mere shadow of a being. In a sense that leader is “absent”. Or as one leadership blog put it they are “empty-chair leaders.” 
This absence might mean emotional or physical absence because of distracting external issues. But absence may simply mean that there was never much a of a person or self there to follow in the first place .
So, if being a healthy, maturing self, is a critical starting point to be a leader, what does this consist of. Let’s suggest four things:
Clarity about Self
This clarity comes in two ways. First, to lead well we need to know ourselves. In the words of St. Paul we are to think of ourselves with “sober judgement” (Romans 12:3), which can only happen as we are self aware. Or, to consider John Calvin’s claim in the opening paragraph of the Institutes, we need two basic kinds of knowledge: of God and of self. Second we must have some clear boundaries, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually. If I do not have edges, knowing where “I” begin and “I” end, I am merely an amorphous, undifferentiated being, likely to be invaded by, and invading others, rather than leading them.
Care of Self
In order to lead others I need to be well myself, across all dimensions of life. And the one responsible for making sure that happens? My self! We need to take seriously Jesus’ injunction to love others as we love ourselves.
Communication of Self
Defining leadership broadly as “influencing others”, a key capacity to achieve this is that I have the skill of communicating who I am, where I am going, what I will do and what I won’t do. Unless I have sufficient skill to do that, my leadership will be truncated and limited. And that communication is as much transmitted by one’s emotional ‘presence’ as it is by verbalizing ideas or power-pointing concepts!
Control of Self
All leadership involves pressures and sabotage, at some point. It is how we operate under these ‘pressures’ that will enhance or enervate our leadership impact. This involves the ability to control self. Self-control is one component of the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22 – 23). And there are two critical things that leaders need to control: our anxiety and our anger. Jesus says these two things come from our heart (Matt. 15:19 – 20). If they erupt often enough, we will sink our own leadership.
The question is of course how we gain clarity, care for, communicate and control self!