This One Thing Is Everything In Leadership. Do You Have It?

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”?


Accelerated Talent Group is a Leadership Development and Executive Coaching firm dedicated to developing the leaders of today and tomorrow.  We specialize in developing and coaching women and emerging millennial leaders.

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