If you lose your key in your own pocket how could you find it anywhere else? Once in a while it is necessary that you do search your own pocket. The key could be there stopping a gaping hole in your pocket preventing the loss of items. Looking inwards or awareness of the self is the master key for effective leadership. Self-analysis and self-critiquing are hard and relentless tasks that should be done to be a great and effective leader. Who knows you better than you? Therefore the first step to effective leadership is to do a thorough self- analysis and lay the foundation strong. What I meant by foundation is the strong value system. We all have come across leaders in various fields who dropped to hit the rock bottom of their career at a faster pace that the rate at which they reached the top. Now the question is how we chart the course in laying the right foundation and cultivate observable behaviour changes?
Most important step is to identify individual strengths to better utilize for the benefit of the individual and manage areas of improvement which drains the energy. Aligning the strengths with the leadership competencies of the organisation is very important. There are lot of assessment tools available in the market to identify individual strengths and areas of improvement. Choose the right one. No recommendations here.
Those of you who are familiar with the Johari window will know that the main objective of the model is for leaders to always strive to increase their open area while reducing their blind, hidden and unknown areas. One way to accomplish this objective is to increase self-awareness by seeking or soliciting feedback, thereby helping you move away from your “blind” area to your “open” area.
The key is however is in your pocket and you need to search for it. You will surely get it if you look for it. This is not a modern management concept. Socrates said, “Know Thyself” and “An unexamined life is not worth living.” In fact the words “Know Thyself” were inscribed at the temple wall at Delphi in Greece sometime during the 6th century B.C. This very brief but powerful message was clear to the philosophers of their time.
Fast forward a couple of thousand years later. Leaders spend so much time and money trying to get a grasp on the dynamics of their organisations and their business worlds that they often forget to study themselves. When you don’t know yourself as well as you should, you can’t fully capitalize on your strengths or minimize your weaknesses.
Find yourself and be yourself. Remember there is no one else in this world like you! Leaders, especially the successful ones and the ones who want to be successful should guard against ascribing to themselves qualities and attributes which they may not have, or may have in a measure much less than what they think they have. Leaders should be open to feedback so that a real understanding of self exists.