The #1 trait all leaders should develop
I have no doubt that you and I could each come up with a very long list of crucial traits a leader needs to be successful. But as much as I like these kinds of lists, a recent article I read highlighted one single trait that should override all others.
That trait is self-awareness.
A component of emotional intelligence, self-awareness helps leaders assess their strengths and shortcomings. But Marcel Schwantes, principal and founder of Leadership From the Core, says before we can really be self-aware, we need to first get over ourselves.
Ã¢ÂÂAs you get introspective about some fault or shortcoming of yours, you need to handle the obstacle of denial,Ã¢ÂÂ he writes.
Instead of woefully asking Ã¢ÂÂWhy me?Ã¢ÂÂ a self-aware person will instead wonder why the same issues keep coming up in their business or personal lives. That person will know the answers to questions such as, Ã¢ÂÂWhat makes me tick?Ã¢ÂÂ and Ã¢ÂÂWhat pushes my buttons?Ã¢ÂÂ
Knowing our shortcomings should be equally as important, if not more so, than knowing our strengths. Schwantes writes that clearing denial and identifying blind spots Ã¢ÂÂwill be one of the biggest wins of your business and career life.Ã¢ÂÂ
Other good, introspective questions to ask as we develop self-awareness, Schwantes writes, include:
- Why do I respond to situations with anger, fear, optimism or withdrawal?
- What makes me think, act and feel the way I do?
As leaders, we must be self-aware of our strengths and, more importantly, our weaknesses. I seek to hire senior managers that fill in channels where I am not as strong.Â Are you self-aware?
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