It has long been a tenet of effective leadership that it really begins with effective self-leadership. So much so that in our coaching practice, we maintain that if one cannot lead themselves, they do not have the right to lead others. While that may come across rather strong, we’ve seen it play out as advertised, both positively and negatively over the last several decades.
Self-awareness is obviously key to effective self-leadership, yet it remains a challenge for far too many leaders. In a January 2018 article in Harvard Business Review titled, “What Self-Awareness Is (and How to Cultivate it)”, Tasha Eurich stated that their four-year research study estimated that only 10% to 15% of their over 5,000 study participants were actually self-aware.
In some of our more recent posts, we discussed how the pandemic has been a bit of “truth serum” for leaders across the globe. No one has escaped the need to reflect and validate who they really are! One of the questions we’ve asked every client over the last six months is “What have you learned about yourself these past six months?”. The answers have both come swift and not at all. The question really isn’t about the answers as much as it is about queuing up the question to ultimately determine the answer for each leader we asked. What we have seen are the various ways leaders are defining who they are and why we see it as an ongoing challenge.
Self-awareness is a key element for effective leadership due to the constant change 21st Century Leaders face day in and day out. The VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity) world leaders live and work in today creates a high level of uncertainty in the leadership ranks. When leaders carry a high level of self-awareness, they also know what and how to adapt to the constant changes as a leader allowing them to be effective lifelong leaders!
Who are you, really? If you don’t know, we can help.