Where Are You Right Now? 7 Signs of the Unaware Leader

Daniel Montgomery Reality

DANIEL MONTGOMERY
Founder & CEO
Leadership Reality

As I shared last time, self-awareness is the key to high performance. Tasha Eurich—an organizational psychologist and New York Times best-selling author—has a lot to say about that in her book, Insight: Why We’re Not as Self-Aware as we Think.

Referring to self-awareness as the “meta-skill of the 21st century,” Eurich writes:

“[T]he qualities most critical for success in today’s world—things like emotional intelligence, empathy, influence, persuasion, communication, and collaboration—all stem from self-awareness. To put it another way, if we’re not self-aware, it’s almost impossible to master the skills that make us stronger team players, superior leaders, and better relationship builders—at work and beyond.”

If we’re not self-aware, it’s almost impossible to master the skills that make us stronger team players, superior leaders, and better relationship builders—at work and beyond. -Eurich #selfawareness #leadership Click To Tweet

For me, Eurich’s most startling research finding was just how oblivious we are to our obliviousness. 95% of people think they’re self-aware, yet only 10-15% actually are. “For most people, it’s easier to choose self-delusion,” she says, “over the cold, hard truth”

I want you to become that rare exception—the truly self-aware leader. That said, here are 7 warning signs to keep you from losing touch with your leadership reality.

  1. You’re Drifting – Whether it’s through mission drift or vision loss, you feel like you’re out to sea with no sense of where you need to head next.
  2. You’re Exalted & Oblivious – You’ve spent too much time in your corner office. You no longer know what a typical day looks like for your workers on the floor or in the field.
  3. You’ve Become Isolated – Your office door has become a physical and emotional barrier, walling you off from your colleagues and subordinates.
  4. You’ve Grown Passive – You no longer take the initiative. Instead, you pass the creative buck down the line and only weigh in when you feel like the train is about to jump the track.
  5. You’re Closed to Feedback – You haven’t been challenged in months. No one in your organization would dare utter the phrase “you’re wrong” or “I disagree” in your presence.
  6. You’re Always Right – As far as you can tell, you no longer make mistakes; you can’t remember the last time you had to repent of a poor decision or a misplaced word.
  7. You’ve Stagnated – You’ve found your groove; any attempts to grow or take on a bold and creative venture would be far too upsetting to the status quo. 

Conclusion: Confronting the Cold, Hard Truth

Do you see any of these signs in your leadership? If you do, then great! The fact that you can see anything at all means you’re already on the path towards self-awareness.

If you don’t, then I’d challenge you not only to look again but to share this post [sharing link] with a trusted friend or mentor. Do they see any of these signs in your leadership? 

As a template, hand your dialogue partner some of the questions we ask leaders:

  • How have you experienced me in the workplace?
  • Are there ways in which I’ve made your work more difficult?
  • What would you like to see me do more often?

Get face to face and listen closely. Pay attention to not only the words spoken but how they’re delivered. Is there tension in the air? Relief? Repeat the process with different people. Be honest; choose to accept the cold, hard truth rather than delusion.

All this might ding your pride, but the faithful wounds (Prov 27:6) of a perceptive friend just might spark a leadership revolution in your heart and business.  [link to one thing leaders miss post.].

 

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