Know Yourself

3 Apr

Leadership lessons come from a lot of sources.  This weekend I caught a couple of Oprah’s “Master Class” shows on her new OWN network and one key insight was reinforced:  know yourself.  Oprah talked about the importance of knowing who you are, knowing your spiritual worth and value, becoming exactly as you believe.  Simon Cowell, as much as you love to hate him, talked about trusting your instincts.  Its something that he credits for his success.  Both get at the heart of what drives personal success:  knowing yourself.

Knowing yourself is knowing what motivates you, what you can live with and what you can live without, what pushes your buttons and what you do about it, why you make certain choices, how you handle challenging situations, when the time is right, and who you are, among other things.

Knowing yourself is an emotional intelligence competency.  I’ve been a student and teacher of EI for a number of years.  Knowing yourself has always been the first rung on the ladder to success.  It’s not all you need to know, but it’s critical.  If I don’t know myself, how can I effectively manage myself?  If I don’t know that I am directive and hard-driving, do I know that I inhibit my team’s creativity and limit their potential?

Leaders need self-insight to build their skills and help their teams grow.  Asking questions, doing personal inventories, accepting feedback, and paying attention to how we come across are good steps toward answering the question, “Who am I?”  Each of us is a work in progress and, hopefully, getting closer to knowing who we are each day.

 

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