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Leadership Development - Step 1: Self Awareness

Updated: Mar 21, 2022

Have you ever had something that was bothering you and it blocked a lot of what you were working on? I was trying to write an article about some things I was reading in the Think Again book I’ve been reading. I just kept hitting a roadblock and couldn’t come to grips with why I was having such difficulty in my writing.

I was invited by my friends Jon Kidwell and Jake Steger to record a podcast, Leaders on the Move, with them. The focus was on my Leadership Development Framework. The questions they asked challenged me to think through my framework and make sense of it all. This was the missing piece for me that was keeping me from moving forward. So here it is. Emotional Intelligence is at the center for all I do. It’s the hub of connections and leadership. High EQ (Emotional Intelligence quotient) predicts all the other elements of great leadership: trust, communication, empathy, regulation and integrity. Neuroscience, Mindfulness and Self-Awareness are all helpful in strengthening EQ.

Daniel Goleman says that the most important skill in EQ is Self-Awareness: understanding your personal emotions, strengths and limitations, values and motives, and tendencies and normal responses. Your journey to effective leadership starts with self-awareness. By the way, it never ends. You will find things that you were not aware of which will illuminate how you come across to people. This is not about shame or good and bad. This is about accepting who you are so you can accept others as they are. We have a world that see’s people as something to fix, rather than someone to accept. The more we can understand how our brain functions through neuroscience, the more we can use mindfulness to be present and accepting of the people in our lives. How we feel about ourselves will go a long way in how we treat others. That’s how Self-Awareness works; it’s a never-ending journey that helps us bring our best selves to others.

Next up: the importance of neuroscience in understanding our leadership potential.

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