When you boil it all down, my personal belief is that great leadership is a combination of self-awareness and confidence. A simple equation where they are equally matched. When one is higher than another, or lower than another, a leader won’t show up effectively.
So, let’s dissect this further.
Self-awareness is the “conscious knowledge of one's own character, feelings, motives, and desires.” It includes a healthy dose of knowing thy self – the good, the bad and the ugly. To be truly self-aware, one must be in tune with their skills, unique qualities, and of course areas of let’s say opportunity. Some people are naturally in tune with themselves and can tap into this intuition – but many people need (or should seek) outside support to be able to reach this level of awareness. Lack of self-awareness can lead to being out of touch with reality and under-delivering. Too much self-awareness can cause insecurity or over-confidence.
And speaking of confidence. Confidence is “the feeling of self-assurance arising from one's appreciation of one's own abilities or qualities.” The more confident one is, the more people trust and rely on them to deliver, to be part of their team, to lead them. But being too confident puts people on alert and gives a sense that you either can’t delivery or are cocky. Neither of which are gratifying qualities.
So, the blend of being aware of and having confidence in your strengths, how you show up, your gifts and qualities will lead you to being a great leader. Great leaders are sure of themselves. They are equally sure of what they can and can’t do. They are open and vulnerable and know when to seek support and when not to.
So the questions to ask yourself are:
What are your strengths?
How are you maximizing them?
What are your areas of opportunity?
How are you relying on your team to support them?
The blend and balance of these is a winning equation in leadership.
Thank you Tara Charvat for the inspiration.