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Good Leaders are Self-Awareness

October 3, 2017

I am a huge fan, and a premium member, of CCL (Center for Creative Leadership). And, because of that I get some amazing emails from them, including articles and book recommendations. I am also passionate about self-awareness, personally and as an L&D professional. Because of all of this, I almost got giddy when I saw CCL’s article called “4 Sure-Fire Ways to Boost Your Self-Awareness”.

 

According to the article, “great leaders are often seen as outward facing — communicating and influencing others as they drive an organization to success. While communication and influence are two of the “Fundamental 4” leadership meta-skills identified in our research, the other two — learning agility and self-awareness — are more inward-focused.”

 

Self-awareness, according to them and based on my 16 years of experience in leadership development, can be the most challenging of those skills for managers to develop. However, it is the foundation of one’s leadership skills. Why? Because the effectiveness of a leader is based on how well he/she understands themselves, their awareness of how others view them, and how they navigate interactions with others.

 

CCL believes that for leaders, self-awareness has four critical facets:

  • Leadership Wisdom – insights from your experiences that you can apply to current situations. So take time to reflect on your experiences, good and bad, and grow from your experiences.

  • Leadership Identity – who you are currently, professionally and personally; this includes who you are (age, nationality, etc.), your chosen identity (occupation, political affiliation, etc.), and your core identity (your values, behaviors, etc.). These things really do influence how you lead.

  • Leadership Reputation – how others perceive you, so ask others about the reputation you’ve build and try to view yourself as others may view you. Understanding this will help you communicate better.

  • Leadership Brand – your leadership reputation coupled with what you are, what you are capable of, and how you would like to be perceived. By knowing what others think of you, you can make changes to have the brand you want to have. To have a strong leadership brand, you must be self-aware.

How does one build their self-awareness? Well from personal experience it takes time and effort. For me, and I won’t say I am 100% self-aware 100% of the time, it has been a 16-year journey as I’ve been facilitating training on emotional intelligence for that long. I have also taken many self-assessments, I have had a 360 assessment, and I have taken training and done research on the topic.

 

How can you build your self-awareness? Contact me and we can discuss options for you and for your team.

 

Adapted from: https://www.ccl.org/articles/leading-effectively-articles/4-ways-boost-self-awareness/

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