Six Breakthroughs: Are you Self-Aware or Oblivious?

What stops leaders from reaching their capacity and influence is not lack of desire, it usually is oblivion and lack of self-awareness. Most people don’t take the time and energy that is necessary to increase their self-awareness, a core competency in emotional intelligence.

I’d like to identify six breakthrough barriers you must overcome in order to increase your leadership capacity:
1. Blame and excuses
I’ve noticed some leaders often play the “blame game.” This holds them back and limits their persuasive influence.
2. Not staffing their weaknesses
Rather than acknowledging weakness, these leaders play up their weaknesses and “get in the way” by micromanaging others.
3. Talking first, listening second
They’ve mastered the art of talking first and miss the best opportunities because of the bad habit of speaking first and listening second. Listening is most important!
4. They jump to judgement
Rather than pausing (and reflecting) before reacting, they lack emotional self-management. They are known to send off quick-fire emails fueled with emotion.
5. Addicted to distraction
24/7 phone addictions do exist. These leaders never put their phone away and never apply the discipline of distraction-free work.
6. Absence of solitude
One of my favorite Harvard studies is about a group of over one hundred business professionals who were asked which option they prefer, one hour of free solitude in a room (device-free) or receive an electronic shock and have their device present. 67% of the men chose shock while 25% of women chose that same option. Absence of personal reflection creates a shell of a person… a shell of a soul.

Most leaders who have grown in self-awareness have had to battle and overcome one (or more) of these factors. Take some time to reflect. Which of these barriers can you work to overcome to grow your self-awareness?

Here’s to building your self-awareness!

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“The purpose of Leadership Quest is to help professionals develop their personal leadership, vision and emotional intelligence. Everyday I strive to help leaders and teams achieve their desired goals in sales productivity, leadership, time maximization, and life-balance. ”

About the Author

Steve Gutzler is the President of Leadership Quest, a Seattle-based leadership development company. Steve is a dynamic, highly-sought-after speaker who has delivered more than 2,500 presentations to a list of clients including Microsoft, Starbucks, the Seattle Seahawks, Pandora Radio, Boeing, Cisco, Starwood Corporation, the Ritz Carlton group, and the U.S. Social Security Administration. He recently was voted #1 by the readership of Huffington Post as the Most Inspirational Leader on Social Media.

A published author on leadership and emotional intelligence, Steve resides near Seattle with his wife Julie where they enjoy time with their three adult children and six grandchildren.