This form does not yet contain any fields.

    Entries in Self Awareness (2)


    Lost and Leading

    It’s easy to get lost.  Let me rephrase…I get lost a lot.  Now if you were to ask my beautiful wife, she would probably tell you that I’m not “that bad” but see…she has tricked herself into believing that even when I look “lost,” I most likely know where I’m going.

    I find the tendency as leaders is to do just that, even when we’re lost, try to at least look like we know where we’re going because, hey…competent leaders don’t get lost..

    I’m sure Columbus made a direct line to North America without a wrong turn, and that the many esteemed Generals and military leaders plan of attack worked flawlessly and expelled the perfect amount of effort for the task at hand.

    Likely not.

    The fact is, getting lost is a part of learning, growing and especially leading.  It’s tough to admit when you’re lost.  I know I don’t look forward to the long stroll into a 7-11, casually trying to glean information from the cashier about where exactly “here” is…

    In business we set plans, cast vision and lead staff and customers to where we are headed…but sometimes, things don’t pan out.  Casting vision is the first step in executing, but flawless execution is not a necessity.  I’m sure you’ve heard the cliché stories of Michael Jordan getting cut from his High School Basketball team and Thomas Edison striking out on countless ideas before he stumbled upon the light bulb, but it’s much simpler than even those examples illustrate.

    Along the process of being lost, you go through a couple stages:

    • Panic – Where am I…What’s going on?
    • Doubt – What did I do…Why did this happen?
    • Pride – I can get out of this…I don’t need help
    • Humility – I can’t get out of this…I need help

    These four stages generally apply to most situations and while the timelines are different (each stage could be minutes, hours, days) most people will experience each one.

    The key differentiator that I find with successful leaders is their ability to embrace these four stages and learn from them.

    I struggle with each of these stages myself within various contexts and must continue to be reminded of;
    (a) my role as a leader
    (b) my responsibility as a leader
    (c) my commitment to the plan/organization/people 

    Navigating through difficult situations is a reality. Viewing them as anything but an opportunity to learn and grow is a failure.


    Self-Awareness...The Silent Killer

    One of the characteristics that I have really leaned into this year for myself and my staff is the need for Self-Awareness.  It is striking how many people truly lack a sense of self-awareness and specifically are completely out of touch with their present reality (strengths, weaknesses, constraints) when compared to the way that others (family, friends, co-workers, clients) perceive and evaluate them.

    Self-Awareness is the silent killer because if not dealt with in a meaningful way, it destroys relationships, careers and ultimately ones sense of self-worth.  This isn't to say that Self-Awareness can be boiled down to the simple "You are a B, thinking you are an A while often others perceive you as a C."  It goes much deeper than this, so actual characteristics and weaknesses not being dealt with because they are being denied any daylight at all.


    Joe is a hard working, salt of the earth guy that doesn't say much.  He's a thinker, but keeps many of his opinions and thoughts to himself for fear that others will judge him if he's "wrong" or speaks out of turn.

    Problem is, Joe's introspective nature often comes across to others as judging himself, condescending and passive aggressive.  So while Joe thinks he's doing himself and others a favour by not engaging...he's hurting himself and his relationships.

    In business we see this all the time...a leader that thinks he is a charismatic "people" person, but really is nothing more than a abrasive jerk or slimy snake oil salesman.

    Our assessment of our skills and strengths is important...but can often become obsolete if not taken into context with our others perceive those skills and strengths.

    A few years back, our leadership team worked with the Flippin Group to complete some 360 Profiles on ourselves individually to assess how we worked as a team in relation to each other and as individuals.  It was amazing to see how close the results were with reality and how prescriptive the profiles were in ways for each team member to counter balance constraints with routines to ensure we were being perceived as we wanted to be and maintained a clear picture of our own reality.

    So before the silent killer gets you...ask yourself:

    What are my strengths and weaknesses?

    How do others perceive me?

    What is the gap between my self assessment and the assessment of those around me?