Helping People Work With People

Number One Challenge: Self-Awareness

by Larry Cole, Ph.D.,

Byrd Baggett, CSP, and

Lawson Magruder, LTG, US Army Retired

The Stanford Business Council’s Advisory Group, consisting of seventy-five leaders, recently concluded that the Number One challenge for leaders is to develop self-awareness. Self-awareness is a requirement for authentic leaders to know who they are. Knowing who you are is important for two reasons: (1) maximize strengths and minimize the impact of weaknesses, and (2) control the ego. Advocates of the Authentic Leadership movement, James Collin’s Level 5 Leader, and Transformational Leadership describe world-class leaders in terms of avoiding the limelight while attributing their success to the privilege of working with a highly talented team and to a degree, luck. Such leaders have successfully put their egos where it belongs — in the background.

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