Self-Awareness Before Self-Mastery

Self-Awareness Before Self-Mastery

Over the holiday weekend I had the immense pleasure of attending a workshop on leadership and particularly leading diverse teams (Still here now in Auckland, but looking forward to seeing everyone back in the LearningCenter on Wednesday). I hope everyone had a well-earned rest this past weekend and for those who were able to be with their families, great time together.

The workshop has covered quite a lot of ground so far with more modules today and tomorrow. One of the key focuses has been ‘Leading Yourself Before Leading The Team.’ The central thoughts that the workshop participants have been discussing is around self-mastery. In other words, asking ourselves the question: How can I live the life I want to live? And in doing so, positively affect the lives of others?

A simple question, certainly, though not an easy one. Similar to, “What makes a great leader?” or “Why am I here?” the answers may be pithy, but the underlying ideas anything but. A key exercise we’ve been asked to do here at the workshop is wake up each morning and journal on a specific question we want to ask ourselves. Mine yesterday was, “Where can I gain stronger insights into my blind spots as a leader?”

It’s not a novel idea - reflection on where we can improve, even in the absence of external feedback, improves our performance not only at work but also in our commitment to family or community outside of work.

The following list, though not exhaustive, are some of the answers I came up with. I hope that at least one of the methods here can help you and all of the Partners at LL find insights into their own blind spots as well.

  • Asking for specific feedback (Family/Friends/Colleagues/Community Members)
  • 360 (or multi-party) Review (Family/Friends/Colleagues/Community Members)
  • Journaling/writing
  • Deep Thought/Breathing/Meditation
  • Reading and Reflecting on texts
  • Auditing my calendar to see if time spent is truly on life priorities
  • Losing myself in a creative pursuit
  • Keeping track of a list of what I’m avoiding
  • Reviewing where I was one year ago and five years ago on this day
  • Sharing updates on work currently in progress and ask others for blind spots
  • Asking others what I can stop/start/keep doing to help them succeed
  • Discussing one-on-one areas of personal strengths/deficiencies with people I trust
  • Opening up areas of personal strengths/deficiencies to a larger group for discussion
  • Recording repeated successes and mistakes
  • Meeting new people to understand their impressions of me
  • Reconnecting with old friends to understand how I’ve changed since they met me
  • Looking at old photos/videos of myself and others and explain the changes up until now
  • Sharing my experiences with others in private/public
  • Rating performance in areas on 1-10 scale and asking what can be done to move to the score
  • Mentoring a younger person
  • Finding and work with a mentor
  • Viewing myself on video or listening to myself on audio
  • Taking a validated and reliable personality assessment tool and discussing the results with those close two me
  • Sharing my lifeline/life walk with another person

By no means is this everything. I’d love to hear what other ideas you have or what has worked for you. I’m always looking for more ways to improve.