Leadership Skills and Self Awareness

If you’re in the business of talent acquisition or global strategic sourcing, you might not be worried about your best talent bolting. After all, we still have high unemployment numbers. But, what happens when your competition takes a different strategy and realizes your team is ripe for the plucking? Will your top performers jump at the chance to leave?  That answer can probably best be answered by how well your company handled career development during the Great Recession?

Then again, maybe you‘re looking to start acquiring top talent.  Here’s another caution from an astute talent management executive,

“ My gut feeling is that companies that are about to lose their best leaders aren’t good enough at identifying leaders to find and attract the right people. Sure, they could offer a lot of money for the best, but they’re just as likely to buy lemons.”

Ykes!  Let’s hope that’s not your organization. Here’s some wisdom from Success Television’s experts that can help you with your leadership skills and career development efforts.

Three Powerful Neuro Tips by Judith Glaser
Our need for belonging is more powerful than our need for safety. When we are rejected, we experience pain in the same centers in the brain and body as when we break a leg. Being emotionally orphaned is more painful than death. When others show us love, respect, and honor us, it triggers the same centers in the brain as when we eat chocolate, have sex, or are on drugs. Understanding this dynamic will change how you lead.


What Makes a Great Leader? by Marshall Goldsmith
Years ago, when most organizations were based on the hierarchical business model of the Industrial Age, great leaders were those who were unemotional, rational, even mechanistic. Those days are gone. Today’s leader, especially one who is in charge of a dynamic global organization, finds himself or herself in desperate need of one key trait — self-awareness.

An organization’s success today depends on such a variety of talents and skills that no one leader could possibly be gifted in simultaneously. There are technological issues, global issues, financial issues, human resource issues, leadership issues, employee issues, legal issues, and more. A leader who is self-aware enough to know that he or she is not adept at everything is one who has taken the first step toward being a great leader.

This sort of personal mastery entails having a heightened understanding of one’s own behavior, motivators, and competencies — and having “emotional intelligence” — to monitor and manage one’s emotional responses in a variety of situations. This variety of situations is not limited to the home office, or the boardroom. It is of a global nature, across cultures which are very different and can be difficult to navigate, especially for those who are not comfortable, knowledgeable, or willing to admit their individual strengths and weaknesses. Everyone has a shortcoming or two —leaders who are willing to admit these, who strive to improve, and who seek out a consulting team to fill in the gaps will 1) encourage followers to do the same and,  2) make room for others whose talents lie where theirs don’t.

U-2’s Decision Making Style by Michael Lee Stallard

Bono has said that although he hears melodies in his head, he is unable to transfer them into written music.  Because he considers himself a “lousy guitar player and an even lousier piano player,” he relies on his fellow band members and recognizes that they are integral to his success.  To Bono, U2 is “the best example of how to rely on others.”

As human beings, we tend to overvalue our strengths and contributions and undervalue the strengths and contributions of others.  Don’t make that mistake.  For each individual you regularly work with, take the time to learn how he or she thinks, his or her temperament and character values.

About Lee Ellis

Lee Ellis is President and founder of Leadership Freedom, a leadership and team development consulting and coaching company, and FreedomStar Media, a publishing company that provides leadership resources and training. Lee's newest book, Leading with Honor, shares his POW experience and the 14 leadership principles that helped him and his compatriots survive. Lee’s previous book, Leading Talents, Leading Teams, was published by Northfield Publishing and shares in-depth team development concepts based on their innate gifts and talents.
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