Why Self-Awareness in Leadership is a Must-Have for Success


As a leader, you have to accept that you will not always be right and that you will not always excel in everything, and that is all right! Self-knowledge in leadership is key to the success of any organization and can foster growth, adaptability, and honesty in the workplace.

To help you understand why self-knowledge in leadership is critical to the success of your business, we’ll explore the meaning of self-knowledge, its benefits, and the real-life examples of self-knowledge of business leaders.

→ Click here to download the leadership lessons of HubSpot founder Dharmesh Shah [Free Guide].

What is self-knowledge in leadership?

Self-knowledge in leadership means having a conscious understanding of your character, behaviors, motives, and how these things affect your leadership skills.

Are your motives aligned with your business goals? How do you behave as a leader when things don’t go as planned? How does your character influence your interactions with your colleagues and subordinates?

These are questions to ask yourself and answer honestly to build your self-awareness as a leader.

“Everyone has strengths and everyone has weaknesses,” said Dan Tire, HubSpot’s marketing partner. “Being self-aware means being aware of the things you do well and the things you need to develop or delegate.

“It means understanding that the process of working with these attributes sends a strong, consistent and universal message that it’s perfectly okay to be good in some way and need support in others, which should be reassuring for everyone. “The organization’s values ​​are, by definition, more authentic, more consistent, and can go a long way toward building the foundation for business success.”

Why is self-knowledge important in leadership?

Self-knowledge in leadership can help you, as a leader, understand what you bring to your role. Being self-aware means understanding where you thrive and where you should improve, and when your leadership tends to keep track of your company’s productivity.

Benefits of self-knowledge in leadership

Self-knowledge can benefit an organization in many ways, one of which is to build trust. Employees are more likely to trust leaders who are accountable and honest about their leadership styles and shortcomings. And building a culture of trust and honesty leads to greater engagement among employees.

Self-conscious leaders also promote progress in learning and development. When a leader demonstrates that he is aware of his strengths and weaknesses, and actively works to improve them, he creates an environment that encourages personal growth. A self-aware leader will encourage his team members to pursue personal growth by acting as a mentor, organizing workshops, or helping employees improve their skills.

Another benefit of self-knowledge in leadership is improved decision-making. Being aware of your goals and how they align with your business goals will help you make better decisions in general. And these wise decisions will lead to better strategies and more targeted campaigns.

5 examples of self-knowledge in leadership

I contacted several LinkedIn leaders to get their perspective on self-knowledge in leadership and real-world examples. Here’s what I learned:

1. Debbie Olusola Akintonde – Marketing and educational growth strategy consultant a Funny

“You can’t be empathetic, let alone emotionally intelligent as a leader if you’re not self-aware. I remember when I got a job where one of the requirements for the interview was to write a complete strategy on how to approach a real problem that I would immediately face in the job if I was hired.Although I got the job, I relied on self-awareness to guide me [and] so as not to start immediately applying the strategy I proposed.

“Instead, after being hired, I chose to listen and collaborate with other candidates and stakeholders to align our goals and plans as a group in order to optimize the results we would achieve together.

“It’s crucial to be self-aware because it will help you lead more effectively and improve your ability to grow personally and professionally.”

2. Tracy Graziani – Owners of Graziani Multimedia LLC

“For me, self-knowledge has helped me to understand and take into account the implicit biases. One of my dear friends is an insightful nonprofit CEO. In a conversation about hiring we were discussing the mistakes of interview conducted by candidates.

“I always ask people why, of all the candidates we interviewed, I should hire them. Then I kept saying that when people answer that question with needs, like.”I’m a single mom ‘ o, “I have a lot of college loans …”I didn’t hire them, but when they responded to me with their successes I did did hire them. My friend changed my mind.

“She said,‘ What is the probability that those who listed the needs are found or have grown up in poverty? My answer? “It seems likely.”

“Then he gave perspective. He explained that people in poverty always have to give ‘proof of poverty’ to get what they need. Government services, charities and even religious organizations have a lot of power and you don’t give what you need, survive without “proof of poverty.” So go into the workforce and expect similar rules.

“Jobs have something you need. So they should show they need the job. That surprised me. I just never saw the world through this lens. Now I interview differently.”

3. Dan Moyle – HubSpot Assessor

“Leadership is about trust. I have witnessed greater leadership when someone builds that trust through self-knowledge along with humility.

“When a leader told me, ‘I don’t know everything, and this particular situation is beyond my knowledge b Trust that you know what you are doing, so go do what you are good at.“This kind of self-awareness and understanding created an immediate confidence in me for my leadership, and it even went further to build a loyalty you can’t demand.”

4. Demetri B. – Founder of Brown

“As a young leader in the SaaS space, I found myself looking for results quickly to make sure I developed, designed, and scaled at a rate comparable to that of my competitors. As a result, I put unfair pressure on those who work. with me to achieve KPIs and milestones that were unrealistic for a startup of our size.

“It took me a lot of thought and maturity to recognize that founders and leaders are not the only ones who feel the pressure to run them, but it’s pouring into everyone we work with. In my experience, employees don’t react in a way. positive in the face of tight deadlines, limited margin of error and constant micromanagement.

“What I learned most important was empowering my engineers and working with my sales team to understand what they need to be successful from the start to help lay a solid foundation for a software company that will stand the test of time. Leadership is not about being a dictator, it’s about understanding what your team needs to succeed and how to fulfill the organization’s long-term vision! “

5. Jordan Bazinsky – Executive Vice President and General Manager of Cotiviti

“We have an R&D and operations center in Kathmandu, Nepal. In April 2015, they were hit by a 7.8 earthquake. I received a midnight call from Markandeya Kumar Talluri, who was directing the office, and I gathered for safety.The subsequent aftershocks were devastating for a country already limited by its infrastructure: finally 9,000 dead and 600,000 buildings destroyed.

“Kumar lived in India and may have gone home while Nepal was picking up the rubble and rebuilding. Instead, he stayed in Kathmandu, inviting families to come and live in our office on a temporary basis. created a space for Operation Rubicon to base its relief activities on, establishing telephone chains and efforts to locate not only our employees, but also friends and family who were missing.

“I knew intuitively that the people in charge would absorb their energy and take cues from their attitude, and it was managed accordingly. It remains one of the most powerful examples of self-knowledge in the service of others I have witnessed at work.” .

To practice self-knowledge as a leader, take the time to write down your strengths and weaknesses, as well as the actionable steps you can take to improve, and don’t be afraid to contact your peers for input on your leadership skills.

Remember that leaders lead by example, and if you show that you are willing to grow and improve, your team will probably do the same.

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