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?