Interviewed for a new book which features well-known figures offering “their best piece of advice”, the First Minister said a “deep sense of conviction” should be the main inspiration for politicians.
And she said they should have “a sense of knowing why you’re doing it and the people you’re doing it for”.
The First Minister added: “You need to communicate that in a way that is relevant to their lives.”
Ms Sturgeon was quizzed along with the likes of Bill Clinton, Jude Law, Simon Cowell, Sir Richard Branson, Joanna Lumley, Dame Judi Dench and Annie Lennox for the new book, If I Could Tell You Just One Thing.
Its author, Richard Reed, founder of the Innocent Drinks chain, has sought out words of wisdom from what he describes as “some of the world’s most remarkable people”.
Ms Sturgeon said: “Don’t let ideaology blind you. But remain true to what guides you. Speak in your own voice, in your own words, in a way that makes sense to you and that could not be from anyone else.”
Last month Ms Sturgeon said she had decided to make public a miscarriage in the hope of challenging “assumptions and judgments” made about female political leaders who do not have children.
In Reed’s book, she says: “Politics should not be seen as a career option. People who go into politics should be doing it because they are led by a deep sense of conviction.”
Interviewed for the same book tennis star Andy Murray says: “Always believe that when you apply yourself, you can achieve anything. Make sure you give 100 per cent and work as hard as you can in everything you do, not just in what you enjoy but also in life. And don’t forget, natural ability will only get you so far, there is no substitute for practice.”