Leading with Awareness
There is one quality that seems to rise head and shoulders above all others when it comes to being an exceptional leader. This quality of Self-Awareness is evident in virtually every great entrepreneur, manager and leader and can be summed up in the powerful trinity of; know thyself, improve thyself, and complement thyself.
Know thyself – Self-observation and reflection are key practices to developing insight into the essence of who you are as a leader.
Improve thyself – Expansion through learning and experiencing lead to your evolution as a leader.
Complement thyself – Being aware of your limitations and gaps enables the leader to surround herself with others who enhance her leadership ability.
Studies suggest that self-awareness is actually the quality that is the best predictor of executive success – even though it’s a quality that traditionally receives relatively little attention in executive searches.
“In every interaction, you are the pivotal element. You have the ability to tailor your approach, your message, your actions – and even your appearance – to shape the outcome. You must, therefore, begin to see yourself as the primary tool for achieving high-level results, as opposed to elements outside of you – such as business models, organizational structure, other people, or circumstances.
Developing this aptitude (self awareness) is possible and begins the moment you look in the mirror and reflect on the process of understanding how you show up, how you affect a room, and what environment you create. Operating with this level of awareness is counterintuitive to how we live our lives, which is why it is so easy to lose sight of its importance. However, with this awareness in place, success becomes a matter of intention: recognizing who you are being and choosing consciously and deliberately who you want to be. Put more plainly: notice yourself. Be in the moment and watch yourself in the moment. How would you experience your actions if you were on the receiving end?”
In the highly competitive business arena where developing an edge over your rivals could mean the difference between success and failure, the all too rare commodity of self-awareness is what sets great leaders apart. When the heartbeat of every organisation is the quality of its relationships and level of communication between its members, a leader’s true competitive advantage is self-awareness.