Self-Awareness – the Most Important Characteristic of a Senior Leader

Woman in Black Coat Standing on Sidewalk

You may have heard about the value of developing “self-awareness” and its significant role in effective leadership. A clear perception of your behavior comprising strengths, weaknesses, thoughts, beliefs, motivation, and emotions can positively transform how you contribute to and impact situations and relationships.

Leaders who are self-aware bring a new level of energy to the business. Characteristics of a self-aware CEO include:

  • Curiosity about the origins of their behavior and its effect on others
  • A desire to meet others where they are, and speak their language, rather than expecting others to speak theirs and do things their way
  • A relentless desire for self-improvement and more impactful results
  • A sense of responsibility to the people that work for them and the mutual trust necessary to produce results
  • Humble confidence that can accept direct feedback
  • Promoting healthy debate in order to reach the best decision, which may not be their own (83% better decisions are made when healthy debate ensues and all opinions are shared)
  • A need to be effective rather than always “right”

Why is self-awareness so important?

At some point, most of us come to realize that more is gained by altering our approach to others and issues, than waiting for, or attempting to force others to align their opinions and actions with ours. This insight often sparks a quest to improve. Self-aware leaders who seek to be their best bring out the best in others and are a catalyst for greater performance and results.

This effect is compounded in senior leaders. We all are well-served when we understand how we are perceived, but this awareness is of pivotal importance in senior leaders who set examples by what they say and, even more importantly, what they do.

Senior leaders are often surprised when I interrupt their account of a problematic situation and ask, “What is your contribution to the problem?” Those with low self-awareness continue to view everyone else as the root cause of the issue. This lack of self-awareness — not realizing how behaviors and actions are perceived – is an example of behavioral blind spots.

As a senior leader, you can’t likely expect neutral feedback from those who report to you. Their feedback will be colored with the power hierarchy along with their own personality, strengths, weaknesses, thoughts, beliefs, motivation, and emotions.

How can you gain self-awareness?

Velocity Leadership Coaching brings the Power PathwaysTM approach to leaders to open the door – and the mind – to self-awareness. Professional, unbiased, senior leadership coaches, with expertise in the behavioral neurosciences, are equipped to interpret the source of behaviors and illustrate the impact of those behaviors on the team and organization. This scientifically-derived insight and increased self-awareness enables the identification of root issues quickly, yielding a clear solution, rapidly achievable change, and sustainable results.

Self-aware CEOs are attracted to Power PathwaysTM which provides a proven, structured path, based on evidence rather than conjecture. Using high-level concepts regarding the workings of the unconscious mind, it meets their need to build upon the foundational leadership talents they have developed and the success they have experienced. Self-aware CEO’s grasp the enormity of the impact their improvement as a leader will have on their organization and are willing to put themselves under the microscope to make behavioral changes.

In addition to its effectiveness with individual leaders, the Power PathwaysTM approach is highly transformative for senior leadership teams by demonstrating how each member’s behaviors impact others, and how the group makes decisions and handles conflict. The level of self-awareness of the leadership team defines the culture of the organization since its people take their cues from the behaviors in which they observe their leadership team engaging.

If your current culture is not what you envision, perhaps it’s time to take stock of your leadership team and opt for change. Discover all that you and your team have to gain through increased self-awareness and Velocity’s Power PathwaysTM approach.