The Most Important Leadership Quality Is Self-Awareness

self-awarenessOften times leaders are looking for ways to improve their overall leadership. They try different styles, different approaches and try to mimic certain qualities. The most over-looked and The Most Important Leadership Quality Is Self-Awareness. If a leader wants to improve and become more effective, the best thing they can do is improve in the area of self-awareness. Self-awareness is the most important and most crucial component in becoming a more effective leader.

Self-awareness can help a leader to not only understand their decision making, it will allow them to understand what motivates those around them. Self-awareness allows leaders to effectively balance the tension tension of humility and boldness, fun environment and professionalism, flexibility and control, receiving advice and giving advice and the list goes on and on.

To become more self-aware individuals should consider taking various tests, such as: personality inventories, attribute indicators, spiritual gift analysis, style of influence inventories etc. These tests can become great tools to accelerate the self-awareness process. You can definitely become self-aware without them; however these tests can expedite the process. Similar to a car manual, you can find out all of the intricacies of what a car does, how it functions, the nuances of the technology etc. by simply fumbling and finding. If you read the manual it gets you to an understanding a great deal quicker and with less error.

Another way to improve self-awareness is to solicit feedback. Not the “Oh everything is great feedback” but rather the authentic, candid, this is how it is, this is what you are doing that’s not working feedback. Feedback meetings, 360° evaluations and other regular feedback methods are always helpful. Create a feedback culture of seeking feedback often and receiving feedback well. I repeat “Receiving Feedback Well.” If you don’t receive feedback well, people won’t give feedback at all.

The bottom line is self-awareness drives success. The self-aware leader will understand their limitations and hire compliments to reach ultimate success. The self-aware leader will look in the mirror in times of limitation and failure instead of always pointing the blame at others. The self-aware leader will make an effort to make those around them better, because they understand the value of a successful team. The self-aware leader knows when to defer, when to take risks, when to make changes, when to charge the hill and when to quit.

There is nothing worse than a well read, smart, articulate leader who can’t lead themselves out of a paper bag simply because they lack self-awareness. They always find themselves swimming up stream, fighting uphill battles and struggling to gain momentum. These struggles are facilitated from their inability have proper self-awareness, limited understanding of how to maximize their giftings and no clue how to truly get the most out of those around them.

If you want to be a good leader read the books, study the trends, look at the research… If you want to be a great leader read yourself, study yourself and look at what the research says about yourself. An organization or team will never rise above the self-awareness level of the leader.

The Most Important Leadership Quality Is Self-Awareness.

What do you think? Share your thoughts and experiences with self-awareness or the lack there of.

  • maranatha

    Wanna learn more??? Read “Art of Leadership, 2nd Ed.” By Dag Heward-Mills. You’ll be the best leader you never imagined! 🙂

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