It’s a known fact that leaders who practice self-awareness are more effective and get better results. In a recent article published by Forbes.com: Great Leadership Starts With Self-Awareness, the author cites research that actually shows organizations with strong financial results have employees with high levels of self-awareness compared to lower performing organizations.
What part does self-awareness play in an entrepreneur’s life?
As an entrepreneur you have to be ready to lead yourself and others that believe in what you are doing in conditions of extreme uncertainty. Planning and forecasting are only reliable when a company has a stable operational history, which a startup does not have. Add to the mix that as a leader in a startup, your offerings are really a prototype, an experiment. You learn from the experiments you do, and apply that learning to future prototypes of your offerings in order to be successful. This can create a volatile, chaotic, and often stressful environment in which to lead. It takes a special type of person to create the conditions that enable team members to do the kinds of experimentation entrepreneurship requires.
Here are 3 ways to gain self-awareness and position your startup for success.
Your team members will look to you as an example, so you have to be aware of your impact on others, and if you are truly modeling the behaviors you want to see exhibited in your startup, you need to start with leading yourself.
1. Know your emotional intelligence.
How emotionally intelligent are you? Your level of self-awareness and ability to self-manage in times of stress (there will be plenty as an entrepreneur) will impact the relationships you form and maintain that are vital to the future of your offering and your startup.
The EQ-I 2.0, is an emotional intelligent assessment, that allows you to really get to know yourself and how you impact others. It provides a snapshot in time of how your emotional intelligence impacts how you perceive yourself, express yourself and interact with others, how you make decisions and manage stress.
This assessment, along with some coaching, will help you know your strengths as well as areas that need development. You’ll understand better what frustrates you and what doesn’t. No one is perfectly composed all of the time. Each of us has a “derailer”. Knowing what your derailing behavior is allows you the opportunity to find ways of countering it. The most mature and composed leaders know what theirs is, and the impact their behavior has on those around them.
2. Understand your unique thinking style.
Everyone communicates, but are you connecting with your team? The Neethling Brain Instrument (NBI) is used to gain awareness of an individual’s whole brain thinking preferences or cognitive style. The assessment has a number of implications for how indviduals and teams lead, communicate, negotiate, innovate, make decisions, as well as other important areas of organizational life.
Teams designed with thinking styles in mind utilize a variety of approaches to problem solving and critical thinking which are necessary to learning, innovating and adapting in accelerated and challenging environments. You can literally tap into the cognitive horsepower of your team by leveraging the various thinking styles when working on team projects. The difference in perspectives is a powerful opportunity that can truly lead to new ideas and breakthrough solutions.
3. Be present.
Are you warm and confident, or is your demeanor cold, less-confident and micro-managing? Non-verbal behaviors such as warmth, demeanor, body language and facial expressions can affect how others view you and how you view yourself. The level of warmth you project has a direct impact on how others trust and respect you.
The Strength Deployment Inventory (SDI) helps individuals understand how others perceive them, and offers insights as to the motives and values that drive behaviors. The assessment plays off our basic need to better understand ourselves and others, and that understanding allows us to lead with clarity and empathy, build stronger teams, and more effectively navigate conflict.
Check your leadership vitals.
Are you ready to be the best YOU you can be? Do you want to take control of your own path and lead yourself so that you can lead others more effectively?
I live the mantra of “Lead Inspire Transform” every day, both with my team and with my clients. It starts with me practicing self-leadership and setting an example for my team. My experience as an army officer and proven leader in combat, along with the knowledge I’ve gained through my advanced studies and research, has proven to me time and time again, how valuable we HUMANS are.
And it all starts with self awareness and understanding each other.
Ready to start?
I encourage you to take a look at our Leadership Vitals Package, which includes all three of the assessments mentioned here at a reduced cost. Having this holistic view of yourself is a powerful tool that you can use to build a strong leadership presence, whether than means leading yourself, your company, or your team.