Posted by Orrin Woodward on February 5, 2013
Here is the first promised article on the ten soft skills of leadership. The LIFE business builds each one of these into its customers and members. Each subscription sold reaches another person with life-changing truth. It is time for a LeaderShift, and it must begin inside each of us. In any event, here is the self-awareness article. God Bless, Orrin Woodward
The first soft-skill principle is self-awareness. Leaders must cut through the illusions most people suffer when it comes to their own strengths and weaknesses in order to identify areas to change. Interestingly, potential leaders swing to one of two extremes when attempting to see themselves as they truly are. On one side, they delude themselves into seeing no issues to work on and quickly blame those around them for any lack of results on the scoreboard—a sure way to never grow personally. However, on the other side, are the people who see others’ strengths and only their own weaknesses; hence, they beat themselves up and never fulfill their potential. The secret is to move from the extremes into the middle point of comprehending one’s strengths while working on one’s weaknesses. This is captured in a simple quote I developed nearly a decade ago:
Find a victory in every defeat to remain hopeful and find a defeat in every victory to remain humble.
Read that quote several times. This is one of the key principles I have utilized to grow in all areas. For in this quote is the secret to the Plan, Do, Check, and Adjust process: a humble, yet hopeful attitude. Since we are humans, we will always make mistakes—this keeps us humble. However, if we work consistently, we will improve greatly and produce phenomenal results, but these will never be perfect so that should also keep us humble. Indeed, John Wooden said to strive for perfection knowing that we will never attain it. Accordingly, humble and hopeful is the proper spirit to attack the leadership obstacles preventing a person from achieving his potential. Nonetheless, the extremes of self-love or self-hatred seem to be the rule, and this is the reason most people do not achieve leadership excellence.
The assignment for today is to peek inside the mental wall created by each reader to help them survive in this world filled with more discouragement, setbacks and haters than encouragement, achievements, and lovers. Even so, a leader must be self-aware and evaluate himself as he truly is so he can move to where he truly wants to be. Here are some questions to ask:
1. What areas of my leadership, if I changed today, would create the most growth for my community?
2. How can I feed my own heart encouragement to continue the change process?
3. How can I be a better encourager for those around me to pour oxygen into their spark of excellence?
Remember the “victory and defeat” quote above to stay humble and hopeful while moving ahead in 2013. Andrew Grove once said, “Only the paranoid survive.” I interpret this quote to mean that those who are self-aware and willing to see things as they truly are will grow, change, and survive. At any rate, are the readers ready to grow? Self-awareness is the key to beginning the change process.