#130 – News Flash: Leaders are Human

News Flash – Leaders are human. Leaders aren’t perfect.
Yes, this is a tongue-in-cheek statement of the obvious, but I hoped to get your attention and make an important point: oftentimes, leaders, in their accustomed role of being in charge and being good at what they do, may lose sight of the reality that they aren’t in fact good at everything. We all have our strengths and weaknesses, and it’s the best leaders who have the self-awareness to recognize, and manage, both sides of this coin.

Food for Thought ~

There are many paths to self-awareness: rigorous personal assessment, 360 degree feedback systems, executive coaching, and spiritual practice, just to name a few. Whatever path, or combination of approaches is used, the goal is a high degree of personal self-knowledge. This is essential if a leader wants to truly maximize his or her effectiveness. Old style command and control type leaders usually can’t tolerate this level of self-awareness, and in fact don’t “need” it in order to simply give orders. But leaders who work from a different premise – that leadership is a collaborative role that requires a diverse set of skills – will find that self-awareness is the necessary foundation.

Question for the day ~

How much time and effort have you committed to increasing your self-awareness? How has it made you a better leader?

My new column in the North Bay Business Journal is on the importance of being prepared for the unexpected. For those of you who haven’t read it yet: please click here to read the article.