Leadership has been described as leading or guiding other individuals, teams, or organisations. Few perceive leadership as the quality of how someone first and foremost leads themselves. But, this is precisely what is at the heart of authentic high-performance leadership.
Leaders who understand themselves, as well as others. The understanding of self is not merely looking in the mirror, its a continuous courageous journey of self-interrogation and discovery.
Research finds high-performing CEO's and team leaders focus on both relationships and business logic. It's a courageous balance.
It's only when we start becoming self-aware, i.e, conscious of our unconscious, we begin to understand ourself. As an African proverb says, “When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside can do you no harm.” Then, we become bold and courageous in our decision making and leadership.
Bill George, a professor of leadership at Harvard Business School, and former CEO of Medtronic, says that self-awareness is the starting point of leadership. Self-awareness is the skill of being aware of our thoughts, emotions, and values from moment to moment. Through self-awareness, we can lead ourselves with authenticity and integrity — and in turn better lead others and our organizations.