The 75 members of the Stanford Graduate School of Business's Advisory Council were asked to recommend the most important capability for leaders to develop and their near unanimous answer was “self awareness." (cited in Sloan Review.)
I found that particularly powerful. Self-awareness is a tough thing. Being objective and realistic about yourself – and brave enough to overcome some limitations we all suffer in one way or another is exceedingly difficult and that is why it is such a valuable asset for a leader.
The generally accepted ways towards gaining or increasing self-awareness are:
- Approach 1: Using psychometric tests
- Approach 2: Sampling new experiences
- Approach 3: Telling your life story
- Approach 4: Daily writing
- Approach 5: Defining the variety of roles you play
- Approach 6: Using the Coach as a mirror
These techniques are not exclusive and can be used in conjunction with each other.
The CRITICAL step in all of these is the acknowledgement that one lacks some self-awareness. That is the step upon which the rest of the journey relies.
- Do you REALLY know what your impact is on the people around you?
- Are you willing and able to find out?
- Can you deal with what you will find?
- What will you do after you have found out?
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