Are you Self Aware Enough to Be A Successful Leader?

Are you Self Aware Enough to Be A Successful Leader?
August 9, 2017

The other day I asked a client to think about a leader she admired and after a few seconds of silence she said: “His name is Bob. He is a poised and self-confident managing director who rarely stumbles or makes mistakes,” and then she reflected for a minute before adding, “He is kind of unapproachable, he never loses an argument and is very cerebral.”

There’s no doubt confidence is a key leadership trait, but a genuine leader is self-aware despite not having all the answers and still empowers others to seek them out. They are aware of their shortcomings and secure a diverse team who will compliment instead of copy their style. The leader who is continuously learning, understands their own purpose and the overall company’s direction has the winning edge in the long term.

Given the right level of technical competence, intelligence and experience, self-awareness might be one of the most important components of great leadership. It gives those who possess it an advantage to create growth within themselves and to grow others.

Three Keys To Improve Your Self-Awareness:

Know Your Purpose – Genuine leaders know why they are in the role they are in. They are patient and confident with a high level of tolerance toward conflict.  Knowing their purpose means they rely on their vision and personal value system to inspire others and lead the way.

Make Peace With Your Weaknesses – Self-aware leaders make better decisions because they are aware of their blind spots and engage their teams more. They are efficient because they constantly evaluate past mistakes and make plans to avoid them in the future.

Lead With Compassion – To lead with compassion means striking a balance between head (strategy) and heart (empathy).  By practicing compassion, leaders are in a better position to inspire others to fulfill their full potential, increasing the odds of the team’s success.

John Mackey, co-founder and CEO of Whole Foods Market, leads the way when it comes to self-awareness and his business moves all revolve around knowing what he and his company stand for and what makes them both tick.  Mackey knows his why; he is aware of his weaknesses and leads with compassion. His values are non-negotiable and include customer loyalty, employee engagement and creating a sense of purpose for his company and the community.

In his book Conscious Capitalism, Mackey beautifully expands on this concept. Obviously, the goal of a commercial organization is to create profit, but Mackey insists the first step for sustained success is to clearly define a company’s higher purpose past maximizing profits.

Once the purpose is clear, Mackey suggests to design everything the organization and its leaders do based on creating value for its stakeholders.

Simply put, if you’re in a leadership role, pay attention to your values and motivations, make sure they are in alignment with your business or place of work. Once you’ve thought about it, keep it at the front of your mind at all times and when you lead others (or lead yourself) remember all of it. Find and use this self-awareness as your compass.

 

 

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Posted in Mindset by Mari Pizarro | Tags: ,