‘Know Thyself’ and Why It Is Important

Developing a deep understanding who you are – what motivates you, your chosen areas of importance, your strengths and key capabilities, doesn’t just sound good on a personal level, it also makes great business sense. A global leader in emotional intelligence, Daniel Goleman, asserts that self-awareness, or ‘knowing thyself’ is a critical skill for all leaders, as it enables them to manage themselves and their impact on others to best effect.

All leaders cast a leadership shadow. At an executive level, this impact is both deep and broad and a key aspect of any leadership role is unlocking the full potential of people.

We recently returned from the Red Emu Advisory 2021 Executive Leadership Tour. This year we travelled to Bullo River Station in the Northern Territory with a group of leaders from diverse backgrounds and businesses. These leaders stepped outside of their daily routines and comfort zones to draw inspiration from each other whilst exploring the Australian outback. They engaged in ways that challenged how they view the world around them, and their place in it. All the leaders left the tour energised, with a re-ignited sense of purpose that will reap dividends in the engagement of their teams and overall business performance.

Regardless of who we are and what our role is, there will come a time when we all need to pause and self-check. To reflect and appreciate the strengths that have supported our success to date, to open our minds to potential behavioural blind spots and to identify any limiting self-beliefs that might prevent us from achieving what we are truly capable of in the future.

In a recent interview with Red Emu, Horizon Power chief executive Stephanie Unwin said “I truly believe that if you start to think about what you stand for, how you can bring that to the company you work for and how you can start to soften any rough edges, you can stay true to your unique self and still progress. But seriously, don’t polish those rough edges too far. Be sure to stay authentic through the journey and never try to be somebody you are not.”.

Most companies invest in programs to help develop their senior leaders and we are seeing a number take a long-term view as they begin to offer holistic leadership curriculums focused on self-belief, leadership purpose and capability development, to more layers within their organisation. As such, they are bringing forward the development stage of self-reflection and introspection, and helping team members ‘know thyself’ earlier for personal and professional benefit.

What an opportunity.

We would love to hear about your organisation’s approach to developing your next generation of senior leaders. Feel free to reach out.

All the best, Jodie

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