Self Awareness Key For Leadership Success
Friday, July 23rd, 2010
Self awareness – just how well is the person in the mirror really doing?
Accurate self awareness is a key factor in your leadership success. Yet the more senior your leadership role, the more challenging it can be to obtain accurate and honest feedback from the people that really matter to you. Thus in addition to encouraging and seeking that feedback, the process of increasing your own self awareness requires a degree of rigorous self examination.
In an article in the Harvard Business Review (What to Ask the Person in the Mirror) Robert Kaplan suggests focusing on your self awareness and personal performance by regularly asking yourself searching questions in the following areas:
- Vision and priorities: How often do I communicate a vision and key priorities to achieve that vision?
- Managing time: Does the way I spend my time match my key priorities?
- Feedback: Do I give people timely and direct feedback they can act on?
- Succession planning: Have I identified potential successors?
- Evaluation and alignment: Am I attuned to business changes that may require shifts in how we run the company?
- Leading under pressure: How do I behave under pressure?
- Staying true to yourself: Does my leadership style reflect who I truly am?
While asking the person in the mirror can certainly improve your self awareness about your leadership, an additional approach would also be to ask such questions to elicit the views of key people in your leadership team on their views of your performance in these areas. While this would require courage and openness, the rewards are significant.
At Stepshift, in our leadership coaching we obtain the views of our coachee’s leaders, colleagues and subordinates on these and other areas of the coachee’s leadership performance. By increasing the client’s self awareness of their strengths and areas for development we increase the likelihood of successful leadership and business outcomes.