3. Why is Self-Awareness the “Master Key” for Leaders?
We said from the beginning that Self-Awareness is the most essential quality for effective leadership. This is simply because leaders lead…people! And to lead others, one must begin by leading oneself, on a journey of self-discovery and self-understanding. If you are willing to take this journey and make it a life-long practice, here is what will happen:
• You will develop deep empathy and compassion for other human beings, including total strangers.
• You will empower yourself, discarding old ideas and beliefs that no longer serve you and it will be easy for you to help others do the same.
• You will liberate your own potential, your deep passion, your inspiration and joy and you will become a magnetic leader that people will naturally want to follow.
• You will stop looking at people as ‘objects’ or ‘things’ to use and start seeing them as spiritual beings, just like yourself, with all the usual strengths and weaknesses, on a life-long journey of learning.
• You will discover that others, with their strengths and weaknesses act as mirrors for ourselves: when you are attracted to a trait you see in others it means you have that in yourself; when you find yourself focused on some other person’s faults…it means you have that in yourself.
• You will start experiencing others differently, focusing on their good points instead of their mistakes.
• Over time, you will develop true wisdom and insight and enjoy sharing it, not keeping it locked inside you.
• You will attract other self-aware people and find yourself on an upward spiral as a leader for others.
Now, looking at the above list…how many great leaders do you know that lack this way of experiencing themselves and other people? I don’t mean ‘dominators’ that just use power to get their way. Those are not true leaders at all. I’m talking about people who are influential, trusted and appreciated by those that follow them.
I promise you that if you start on the path of Self-Awareness your life is going to change in many positive ways. A self-aware leader is the only one who can truly lead. And now I want to leave you with a few quotes to stimulate your thinking:
“We are not human beings trying to become spiritual. We are spiritual beings, learning how to be human.” Teilhard de Chardin
“Know yourself and know others and in one hundred battles you will be victorious one hundred times.” Sun Dz
“The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second-best time to plant a tree is right now.” Confucius