During late February early March 2016 we ran a poll on the leadership “Selfie” people felt to be the most important in Leadership. The above image reports visually the responses we received. As you can see self awareness tops the poll significantly.
I have to say I wasn’t surprised at the responses. Perhaps a little surprised that regulating our behaviour [self regulation] in business or the workplace received no votes.
We did some follow up with the people we knew had completed the poll and they gave us their views in a little more depth. They told us that it is important to know yourself [be self aware] in order to understand your strengths and weaknesses and, more importantly, to know the impact you have on those around you in order to relate effectively and influence. In summary, by influence they meant it’s important to be able to motivate our teams, and impact with vision and credibility on those we wish to do business with or decision-makers.
The poll and feedback got me thinking!
Self awareness is key to unlocking all of those other “selfies” in our poll.
To take an Abba song:
Knowing Me Knowing You!
Knowing ourselves [self awareness] gives us self confidence on so many levels. We are confident in our communication with others. We know our strengths and weaknesses and can target opportunities, or delegate the things that are just not within our area of expertise. We are confident to choose and direct because we know ourselves. We know our best collaboration partnerships and how to build teams because we understand the strengths that complement our own.
We can be self directed in our learning because we know our strengths and weaknesses. Our self awareness, I would argue, drives our vision for success and determination to pursue it. We know where to target our energies to maximise our potential. We understand our own contribution to the business and direct ourselves and others through a sense of strong, clear vision for achievement. I find leaders with strong self direction bring clarity and focus within their teams. They tend to be self assured, confident and are able to instil confidence even in the midst of most challenging times.
… And finally self regulation! Put simply knowing how to behave to achieve the desired response, or even simpler just knowing how to behave. If we understand ourselves [self awareness] we know how our communication, style, demeanour … impacts on others. We know how to motivate our teams. We understand what drives us, what angers and frustrates us, and most importantly how the recipient will respond to us. We adapt and change to get the best out of people and situations. We can influence better because we know when we need to be more or less concise in our communication, when we need to be direct or persuasive – self awareness enables us to regulate our behaviour and responses we need to engage others.
So for me it was unsurprising self awareness came top in our poll as I think it underpins everything we need to be successful in leadership. That doesn’t detract from self confidence, self direction and self regulation being important leadership competencies. For me you need all four “selfies” to be truly successful. Self awareness allows us to be confident, clear and to manage our behaviour.
My parting shot:
Great leaders are self aware and unafraid of using their self awareness honestly. It’s no good being self aware if you can’t be honest with yourself and others.
A huge thank you to all those who participated in the poll, your insights are invaluable.
Why not give us a call to explore leadership “selfies” further.