Leadership involves shepherding a group, moving people, inspiring followers, and empowering others to flourish. Usually, this means asking a lot of questions, helping others see their gifts, shortcomings, behaviors, and responses. Leaders guide others into greater effectiveness.
But leadership stalls when we don’t hold the mirror up to ourselves.
Self-awareness is a cornerstone of leadership skills. How can we help others grow while neglecting personal growth? Without self-awareness, we will eventually stall in our effectiveness.
In 2010, the Business School of Cornell University studied CEOs of million- to billion-dollar companies. The key finding: “A high self-awareness score was the strongest predictor of overall success.” Rather than growing in self-awareness, people will sometimes try what seems simple, or quick, at the time. They may mimic another successful person’s style, hoping those behaviors will take them to the next level, be their recipe for success. Or they may choose no change at all, becoming petrified, frozen in their methods without flexibility and creativity to face new challenges.
Only self-awareness makes room for real change. Genuine, lasting growth comes from self-reflection, from understanding the motivations and patterns in our lives. And really, it’s freedom.
Because we can only heal what we acknowledge is there.
So get out the mirror. Ask ourselves the hard questions. Make the changes for our own health.
Leadership growth will follow.
How do you reflect? What’s your best practice?