The ancient Greek aphorism, “Know thyself, ” is just as true today as it was in 460 BC. Knowing yourself is the first of three major principles in leading with credibility. How can we move ahead if we don’t first see ourselves the way the rest of the world does? Once you master these, you will find that every decision you make is more authentic and will make you the kind of leader that your employees want to follow.
1. In the program, Professional Presence in a Casual World, one of our first tasks is to do a self-assessment. Gaining a sense of how the world perceives us, from our physical presentation to communication style, to work process, gives us the tools we need to help our clients move ahead with the career they want, gain more satisfaction with their current position, and most of all, learn how to release the productivity potential that has been waiting inside of them. Gaining awareness of our own challenges and strengths is the first and most important step to “releasing the eagle within.”
In the words of author, Harry M. Jansen Kraemer Jr., “You must have the ability to identify and reflect on what you stand for, what your values are, and what matters most to you. To be a values-based leader, you must be willing to look within yourself through regular self-reflection and strive for greater self-awareness. After all, if you aren’t self-reflective, how can you truly know yourself? If you don’t know yourself, how can you lead yourself? If you can’t lead yourself, how can you lead others?”
2. Self-confidence sounds like an obvious characteristic of any leader, but many of us actually hide our personal fears and self-doubts by becoming the stereotypical “bully” manager. Instead, think of self-confidence as the outside evidence of self-awareness and acceptance. Isn’t easier to relate to someone who isn’t fighting their own inner demons? Aligning yourself this way will make others more comfortable with you, smoothing the way for accomplishing challenges together. Use your self-confidence to learn positive, continuous feedback, that is devoid of the “bully” tactics we often experience.
3. Humility is the other side of the self-confidence coin. Genuine humility keeps life in perspective, particularly as you experience success in your career. “True humility gives you the key to valuing each person you encounter and acknowledging them for who they really are.” Active listening is one of the fruits of humility. Watch your interactions become more effective as you learn to truly listen to the members of your team, your colleagues, and your own managers.
These steps can be applied in any situation. Values-based leadership is a core principle of successful leadership, and you can become a more successful leader today!
At EDSI, we have been resolving generational, employee development, leadership, professional presence, and personal effectiveness issues for over 30 years. Contact us to learn how we can help increase productivity and profits in your organization. Call firstname.lastname@example.org | 800-282-3374