Monday, September 5, 2011

Know Thyself!

This week’s topic is the fourth characteristic of a servant leader: awareness.

In Wikipedia’s entry on Servant Leadership, it states:

A servant leader needs to gain general awareness and especially self-awareness. He has the ability to view situations from a more integrated, holistic position. As a result, he gets a better understanding about ethics and values.

So today, let’s start with ourselves. In order to be aware of what is around you, you first must become aware of yourself! Self-awareness is crucial to a good leader, because how can we properly lead and understand others if we are unable to properly lead and understand ourselves?

So for today, I want you to spend a little time thinking about yourself. Go ahead. It’s okay! Get out a notebook and consider these concepts and questions:

  1. Write a paragraph describing yourself. Now write a paragraph describing yourself from a co-worker or friend’s point of view. How are these two descriptions different?
  2. Make a list of the things, ideas and people who motivate you. Why do they motivate you?
  3. List your strengths and weaknesses. Be brutally honest.
  4. Imagine a situation where you are disagreeing with a friend. How do you react in that situation? How does it make you feel? Why do you think you feel that way?
  5. Think of a situation where you feel most at ease. Why are you most comfortable in this situation? What characteristics of the situation make you feel that way?
  6. What is your greatest fear? Why does it scare you?
  7. What is your life dream? What are you doing to achieve it?

After you answer these questions, spend some time reflecting on your answers. Look beyond the “what” to the “why” and “how” of your answers.

A little time spent understanding yourself can go a long way, not just in how you lead, but in all of your interactions with others.

Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.
- Tao Te Ching

We are the only beings on the planet who lead such rich internal lives that it's not the events that matter most to us, but rather, it's how we interpret those events that will determine how we think about ourselves and how we will act in the future.
- Anthony Robbins

The journey of true success and lasting leaderships begins with the inward journey to the soul.
- James Arthur Ray

As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world ... as in being able to remake ourselves.
- Mahatma Gandhi

1 comment:

  1. I like the exercise that you propose, Heather.

    I would only like better if we have to come up with a more social exercise that brings people together who can help each other keep the answers honest.

    I'd also like to add that self-understanding reveals over our lifetimes. But there's no time better than now to work on it. [big smile]