You Are A Poor Leader Until You Have Developed Self-Awareness

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Over the years, I have come across seniors in organisations and other walks of life who impacted others negatively while thinking they were just being who they were. In the process they suffocated, destroyed and demoralised others due to lack of full appreciation of their behaviour on others. They didn’t realise that leading others is possible only if you can lead yourself.

Contrary to the above, successful leaders have a fully developed sense of self-awareness. This is the ability to understand your emotions, drives and moods and their impact on others. These leaders understand that effective management of their emotions lead to better outcomes for them and others.

In my experience, leaders who are self aware share the following qualities:

  1. Taking stock of their strengths and areas of need

They never parade themselves as know it all. They acknowledge their limitations and understand they cannot be perfect. They are not threatened by their areas of need because they regard accepting their weaknesses as a strength.

2. Keep their values in check 

Because they know which values support their leadership ethos, they constantly stop and ask themselves why they do the things they do. In this way, they align their values to the intended outcomes.

3. They know what pushes their buttons

They are aware of the words, actions or topics that may induce certain reactions in them. Instead, they have developed the skill not to be dissuaded by sensitive comments or actions that are meant to derail their attention.

4. Open to feedback

They understand the value of feedback and its role in shaping their outlook to life. They never see feedback as a reflection on them, rather as input for continued growth and self improvement. This aligns with their quest to understand their strengths and limitations.

5. Build self confidence

They hone their skills and increase proficiency in what they do. With continued practice and belief in their abilities, self-confidence develops to increase their odds for success. They take others along as a result because they do not feel threatened.

6. Venture into discomfort zone

They are not frozen by new challenges, they take incremental steps to move close to the change they want to see. They generally do not pretend to be comfortable when they are not. Instead, they acknowledge their level of discomfort but leap forward regardless.

Tex Hlalele

Think Big, Dream Wild & Prosper


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