End 2018 with The Self-Knowledge Leadership Test
I have seen many leaders fall short of their potential because they simply could not be honest with themselves. They were unwilling to dig into the challenge of self-knowledge – and that’s understandable. We often find more things we don’t like about ourselves when we do it, but that’s precisely why we need to bite the bullet. The polite term is self-deception. The true description is bullshitting yourself.
Self-knowledge and management are the foundations for successful long-term leadership capability. (They also impact our relationships, marriages, parenting and more). You have to look at leadership as a long-term personal and professional evolution rather than a one-time event (like a promotion). Self-knowledge (the psychological mirror) is a tool to be used for this evolution. The hardest part is that the more successful we get, the less pressure there is to self examine. For leaders who work for me I have used many avenues to promote self awareness and knowledge; 360 evaluations; Executive Coaches; Myers Briggs and even paid for professional therapy. Simply put, if you don’t know yourself, you can’t lead yourself. If you can’t lead yourself, you cannot effectively lead others.
This list of questions is a good filter to help you and your leaders avoid rationalization and BS – and see the truly good, bad and ugly that we must embrace to really grow.
- What is my “gift” as a person that makes me remarkable, do I own it, and how does it impact those around me?
- What is my fatal flaw, do I own it, and how does it impact people around me?
- Can I take brutally honest feedback in service of my advancement?
- Am I truly secure enough in myself to lead well?
- Do I lead more from strategy or emotion?
- Do I make decisions from instinct or logic?
- Am I a reactive person or a proactive person?
- What level of intuition do I bring to motivating others?
- How do I generally behave under stress and what does that look like to others?
Want to have a really authentic discussion with someone above or below you? Someone you trust enough to share the truth with? Try just two or three of these. Remember, self-awareness and knowledge give you the most honest foundation possible for good leadership. Have the courage to make it a priority for yourself and those that need your guidance and help.