It’s human nature to first experience and then explain. How difficult it is to be in the midst of trolling, stopping yourself and admitting, “Wait a minute, I’m trolling right now because this person’s opinion just sucker-punched my ego, and I feel a visceral desire to tell this person they’re an idiot so I can feel better!” Instead, we hit send and then explain why we did it.
…there is one quality that trumps all, evident in virtually every great entrepreneur, manager, and leader. That quality is self-awareness. The best thing leaders can [do] to improve their effectiveness is to become more aware of what motivates them and their decision-making.” Anthony K. Tjan
The examples should sound familiar: We get necessary and helpful feedback from a boss or colleague, only to snarl under our breath, but failing to realize the foolishness on our end. We become aware of our declining efficiency, so instead of treating the disease we treat the symptoms and we chug coffee only to crash an hour later face-first into our keyboard (and then we go searching for productivity hacks because our workload is too high).
Without self awareness, you cannot understand your strengths and weakness, your “super powers” vs your “kryptonite.” It is self awareness that allows the best business-builders to walk the tightrope of leadership: projecting conviction while simultaneously remaining humble enough to be open to new ideas and opposing opinions.
That self-awareness is a critical factor for business-building success is not a new insight. The tougher code to crack is how to become more self-aware. The trinity of self awareness is:
- Know thyself
- Improve thyself
- Complement thyself
These are common sense principles but are not necessarily commonly followed. Why? Because people don’t always commit to stand in the face of truth. Intellectual honesty, rigorous commitment, and active truth-seeking are essential to any self awareness process.