As you may have picked up on, I love smart pearls of wisdom that ring true, and how could you go wrong with Socrates, who famously stated “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Though that’s probably not exactly what he said, you get the point. I recently did some exploring myself into the “underrated” leadership characteristic of “curiosity.”
What we need to do as leaders is, from time to time, take that curiosity and apply it to our lives – we need to examine how we are performing.
This self-awareness can positively impact your function as a leader, just as a lack of self-awareness can contribute to our failing to be effective in a position of influence.
So how do we go about obtaining this insight into ourselves? Sounds like a tall order, but I’ll shrink it down to size …
Ask yourself the following five questions:
- How do others perceive me? Note: To have influence you need to know where you stand with those you are to influence. So what others think DOES matter.
- Am I making a difference?
- Am I growing?
- Where am I making the greatest impact?
- How can I improve?
These questions provide tangible ways to take on that lofty notion of “getting to know oneself better.” Just as your boss gives you a performance evaluation (or better than that happens, as the case may be), you need to take time to reflect on these questions intentionally and often.
Put yourself to the test.
By simply reflecting and knowing the areas where you can improve, for example, you are already making progress in your role as leader. But you’ll never make that progress if you don’t at least examine where, say, your performance stands against your expectations, or where you stand as it relates to others who work with you.