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The Self Aware Leader

July 20, 2010

In  How to Crack the Self-Awareness Paradigm, written by John Baldoni (Havard Business Review, December 2009), Jeff Immelt, CEO of General Electric, admitted that he had some weaknesses coming out of the recent recession and was committed to making changes. Immelt demonstrated a crucial aspect of leadership: self-awareness. This skill is the ability to see one’s shortcomings and to improve on faults. Self-awareness allows a leader to see where they need to invest their time and how they can better themselves.

According to Baldoni’s article a self-aware leader should know their limitations and be able to manage their time effectively. Sometimes managers set expectations too high and attend to several needless tasks rather than focus on the important issues. These important issues are not always tasks but rather employees. Sometimes managers focus too much on their work and forget about their interacting and engaging their employees, but a leader that is self aware never does.

The last and most crucial aspect is the ability to evaluate and act on criticism. It takes humility for one to acknowledge that they have short comings that others can see . When given criticism, self-aware leaders need to take and build upon it in order to make themselves better. No one is perfect and a self-aware leader understands that and works on criticism to become better.

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