How often as a business leader do you think about self-awareness?
It’s important to take a moment, look in the mirror, and ask yourself the tough questions.
What don’t I know about what’s going on in my business?
What don’t I know about the industry?
What skills don’t I have?
What areas of my development or business do I have no desire to improve?
It’s a scary thing to be able to look in the mirror and admit that you don’t know something or what you are doing isn’t good enough.
If you’re going to succeed and really push past your competition you have to be willing to be brutally honest with yourself. You have to answer these questions, and if your answers are honest, it will be the best conversation you can ever have with yourself.
Now that you have admitted or gained some self-awareness, what should you do next?
- Document your answers. Talking in your head is great, but get it down on paper. The act of writing or recording your answers adds to their credibility. This list becomes a roadmap for change.
- Pick ONE area to begin working on. As individuals we think we can master too many things, or we can multi-task; a word that I think is total BS. By focusing on one aspect, you can devote the time to make the change necessary.
- If the change is an improvement to yourself, then you need to be responsible enough to go and find solution to this problem. Assuming you can figure it out with your current level of information is foolish. You need something new to take you out of your rut.
- If the change is removing a duty or task or responsibility from your plate, then you need to assign it task to someone. Your responsibility is to make sure they are trained correctly to handle the duty. Giving it to someone who is not skilled does nothing but kick the can down the road. It does not fix anything.
One of the main reasons people do not want to go through this exercise is they have the feeling they are being weak. They feel they will be looked down upon because they should already know something or should be able to handle the responsibility.
I fully understand this struggle. I’ve chosen the route of hiding my head in the sand, hoping no one would notice. Speaking from personal experience, I can tell you that they do notice, and being reactive rather than proactive about it only makes it worse.
The days of bluffing your way through meetings or sales pitches are over. There is too much transparency in the modern workplace to “fake it until you make it,” and people feel more comfortable in calling attention to a lack of effort or success.
It took me awhile to have that inner strength to stand up for myself and to say to myself “I don’t know, but I’ll learn.” It has helped me understand what our company is good at, what partnerships are best, and who to align myself with to fill in the gaps where their skills are superior to mine.
Do yourself a favor and look in the mirror. Ask the tough questions and then resolve to learn, adjust and move forward.
For those individuals who lead teams and are looking to improve their skills, join me in NJ on July 24th-25th for a two-day workshop titled You have the Job, Now What? Building & Leading a High Performing Team.
Click here for more information.