The Key to Every Leadership Journey

The Key to Every Leadership Journey

The most important part of any leadership journey is the ongoing, never-ending process of self-awareness. For all the many books, articles, and experts who talk about it, self-awareness can be boiled down to two simple commitments.

  1. A commitment to understand how you’re wired, the tendencies that result from such wiring, and the impact those tendencies have on others.
  2. A commitment to change your negative tendencies in order to become the best person and leader you can be.

In other words, it’s a commitment to “Know Yourself to Lead Yourself.”

The Biggest Problem in Leadership

One of the biggest realizations we constantly run into is the fact that most people don’t know themselves. The more work we do around the globe engaging with leaders from all over, the more we realize that so many of us just don’t see it. We don’t see the broccoli in our teeth, so-to-speak. Without taking the time to fully identify our tendencies and evaluate their impact in our lives and on the people around us, we can never truly gain control of our own reality. We lose the ability to change our outcomes, and instead, remain captive to our tendencies and the paths they dictate for us.

That’s why we came up with a tool called “Know Yourself to Lead Yourself.” It’s a simple visual reminder of the process we can all implement every day to take stock of our tendencies and make steps towards changing them.

Self-Awareness: Know Yourself to Lead Yourself

Take a moment to think about what you do under pressure. What do you do when you get frustrated? What default actions or reactions do you tend to initiate when you’re embarrassed, or when you feel like someone is trying to control you?

Now think about the kinds of patterns those repeated reactions begin to create. The truth is, we are all wired by nature and conditioned by experience to develop a set of tendencies which, when indulged over time, develop into patterns of action. That includes other people’s actions too. When we consistently encounter a set of repeated behaviors or circumstances, we tend to subconsciously develop our own patterns of response.

Of course, those patterns of action will always come with a price tag: the consequences of our words, deeds, retorts, and responses. They shape who we are, how we think, how we interact, and the way other people learn to view and interact with us as a result.

All of those consequences ultimately conspire to create our current reality. So the question is, if the consequences of our action patterns are shaping our reality, then are we being intentional about the patterns we develop? Because if we’re unaware of the subtle tendencies that create those patterns, then we are forfeiting control of our own realities. By remaining unaware of our tendencies, and therefore being unintentional about the patterns we create, we are no longer the masters of our own destiny.

Be The Master of Your Own Destiny

Fortunately, we have a say in all this. We can choose to become intentional about knowing our own tendencies and commit to changing them. The answer is self-awareness. It’s committing to dive deep into your own wiring, learning to understand the knee-jerk reactions you have been conditioned to exhibit over the years, and choosing to know yourself so that you can lead yourself in the effort to create the reality you desire.

It’s not easy, but it is simple. Use the tool to develop the skill of self-awareness and I promise you will see the fruit of your hard work. The good news is, you don’t have to be defined by your tendencies. You have the power to shape your own reality. So step up, lean into it, and become the master of your own destiny.