Think You Know Leadership?

I recently asked my network of colleagues what they thought was the single most important characteristic of a leader.  This network is full of leaders at the top of their fields, HR experts and Managers of all industries.  So naturally, I thought many would easily respond with the evidence-based research and not unimportantly, my own experience as a Leadership Development Expert and Executive Coach.

So what is it?  Drum roll please…… it’s self-awareness.  That’s right, not expertise, management style, relationship building techniques or the hundred other characteristics that are for sure important.  But without self-awareness, all of the other attributes are negatively affected.  But why?  In the next few articles, we’ll discuss in further detail.  We’ll define self-awareness, ways to cultivate it and why it matters.

Self-awareness is “knowing one’s internal states, preferences, resources and intuitions” (Daniel Goleman).  Psychologists since the 70’s found this attribute was a prerequisite of self-control.  Ahh, self-control.  In my view, it’s important to understand that self-awareness is not only what we notice about ourselves, but also how we notice and monitor our own inner world.  Furthermore, self-awareness goes beyond just accumulating knowledge about ourselves.  It’s about paying close attention to our inner state.

How much do you truly pay attention to your “inner state”?


Part II:  Why Does Self-Awareness Matter?


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