When I spend time with any leader I intuitively look for two primary qualities or aspects.
- Are they self-aware?
- Are they responsive?
Picture what you look like when you wake up in the morning. For some of us that is scary. : ) As you stand over the bathroom sink looking at yourself this is the first opportunity to lead yourself in the morning. Do you notice your hair sticking up? Can you sense the morning breath? The mirror helps you as you become self-aware of yourself.
Once you become aware of your disheveled self, you have two choices – do absolutely nothing and go about your day or respond to what you see and fix what needs to be fixed. If you choose to clean up, straighten up and get ready for the day you have just become a responsive human being. You responded to what you saw needed to be changed.
Every leader has the same opportunity to become self-aware and to become responsive. The mirror for leaders can be the family or co-workers or those they lead. Every leader has the opportunity to be self-aware and the chance to respond to what they see.
When you hear the term “blind spot” that actually refers to a leader not being self-aware of an issue in their life. It is as if they woke up and went to work not realizing they hadn’t combed one side of their hair.
I value leaders who work hard to become aware of their areas of needed growth. Even more, I respect those leaders who do something with what they have found. These leaders are responsive to their issues and work to overcome, improve and change what needs to be changed.