It’s often been said that employees don’t leave their jobs or the company, rather, they leave their bosses.
If you stop and think about this for moment, it’s quite sobering.
This means a company can have in place the best culture, best remuneration system, the best product/service etc, yet if your boss or in fact the leadership team as a whole is not supportive, encouraging or even sympathetic to the employee’s needs and issues, then that ‘good stuff’ will mean nothing.
Today’s business world is fast paced, ever changing and brutally demanding – we all know this.
Yet, here’s the thing – it was probably the same two decades ago and will be the same in two decades from now – it’s all relative.
Leaders are now suffering from “short-termism” – a phrase used by David Mead from Simon Sinek’s organisation Start With Why.
There is an intense focus on achieving short-term goals and objectives set by the corporate head-office – and when your reward scheme is tightly linked to the achievement of these short-term goals, then come hell or high water, the leader will do whatever they need to do to meet these goals.
So ‘little’ things like coaching & mentoring, communicating a clear and unifying vision, demonstrating that vision through their own behaviours, nurturing an environment that encourages employees to thrive etc – all go out the window because of this “short-termism” mentality.
It’s been pinpointed that self-awareness is the most important capability for a leader to develop.
When asked to rate their own performance, on average leaders rated their performance 25% higher than the ratings given to them by their employees.
The larges performance gaps were in the areas of;
And it’s interesting to note that it’s these gap areas that will be most likely to trigger an employee choosing to leave the business – in other words – choosing to leave their boss.
Good leaders, however, who make their roles look easy and effortless often do so at the expense of having to work really hard on themselves, i.e. they either manage or compensate for their deficiencies in other ways.
And when this happens, you are seeing a leader who has positive self-awareness.
How can you tell if a person has low or no self-awareness?
Some tell-tale signs include;
A lack of self-awareness are pure and simple blind spots for leaders.
These blind spots present a bigger problem for leaders than lack of skills – simply because a lack in any given skill area can be recognised and acknowledged by the individual.
However, lack of self-awareness (blind spots) are very personal – and we, as humans, don’t like to acknowledge any down side to our own personal self.
And when you are blind to those behaviours that cause you to have an inflated and mis-aligned view of your own self, then you are setting yourself up for failure – it’s as simple as that.
To know thyself is:
Knowing and understanding yourself better, leads to better decision making, setting and reaching realistic goals and ultimately living a more productive life.
And on a final note, a study of 486 publicly traded companies showed that those with strong financial performance tended to have employees with higher levels of self-awareness than poorly performing companies.
So, why not get to know your Self better.