Superman vs. Achilles: Why self-awareness is crucial for a leader

"He who knows the universe and does not know himself knows nothing." --Jean de la Fontaine, 1679 Self-awareness is crucial for success, whatever your leadership role. It makes sense that you can't manage what you don't recognize and understand. "If you aren't aware of what you're doing, why you're doing it, and the way it's affecting... Continue Reading →

Reflected Best Self exercise

Self awareness is huge in leadership. There are constant challenges in leading others but, leading oneself may be the biggest challenge of all. Leading ourselves effectively begins by knowing ourselves better. Knowing ourselves helps us lead, live and love better. We are often too aware of our faults and weaknesses. I have benefited from the Reflected Best Self exercise from the Harvard Business Review that Terry summarizes below. It will help you know your strengths as well as be very affirming. Read her blog! One nice thing she includes is an email you can send to the people you want to give you feedback. It is simpler than a formal 360-degree feedback and only focuses on the positive! Try it out, especially if you are in transition.

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reflection morguefile webDo you like homework? Neither do I… usually.

However, this fall I had to do a homework assignment for our Global Leadership MA class that I want to recommend to you. It was, by far, the most encouraging homework assignment I have ever done. The exercise is called “Your Reflected Best Self” (RBS), and it is fully described in the Harvard Business Review article, “How to Play to Your Strengths” from January 2005.

The exercise is not designed to build your ego, although it might do that. A while back I wrote about how we often receive six comments of negative feedback to one positive. The RBS is a systematic tool that balances out that ratio by discovering or confirming strengths and potential. With some analysis and application (done best with the help of a coach), you can use the information gained to develop a plan to…

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