Socrates and other philosophers have echoed the importance of “know thyself” for generations. Sun Tzu proclaimed that to “know yourself and know your enemy, in a hundred battles no defeat.” I view the enemy not only as the obvious enemy, but our personal weaknesses, our fears, lack of self-awareness, and blind spots. Leadership skills building is an ongoing requirement for CEOs and business leaders. Self-awareness is at the top of the leadership skills mountain to continue to refine and development. Check out Roy Baumeister’s discussion on Self Awareness.
If your competitors knew your weaknesses, fears, blind spots, how dangerous would that be to your survival? How would this impact your ability to compete? How does self-awareness improve your leadership effectiveness?
What are you doing as a leader to gain self-awareness, expose your blind spots, uncover your weaknesses and face your fears? What are you doing for your talent to minimize the weaknesses in the culture?
Do you have a peer board of advisors? Do seek out scientific assessments? Do you make strategic planning a dynamic process? Are all of your customers engaging your core competencies?
What are you doing for yourself personally? Do you have a confidential, unbiased environment to address your weaknesses, fears, and blind spots? The more time you spend on your personal awareness, the better leader you will become.
Leadership coaching and peer advisory boards are excellent tools for further developing self-awareness. The coach, through the coaching process, provides the pathway to face fears through inspirational inquiry. Peer advisory board provide a level of peer accountability that encourages and fosters self awareness. The peer environment removes blindspots by opening up varying perspectives and challenges our biases in our decision making. With the development of self-awareness we lay the foundation for refining our situational awareness. Until self-awareness is effective, our situational awareness will continue to be a liability personally and professionally.