As the landscape of education continues to evolve and constantly change, leaders serve as important role models for their organizations and the people within them. When leaders prioritize their own learning and development, they set a very positive example for all stakeholders in the organization, including their fellow leaders.
These types of leaders consistently strive to improve themselves through active self-reflection and seeking the critical feedback needed to know their strengths and identify their areas for development. As well, great leaders know that they have blind spots and take proactive steps to improve their skills, behavior, and decision-making. When leaders ask for feedback, it creates a sense of inclusion, belonging and empowerment among team members. It leads to increased employee morale, engagement, and overall trust in leadership.
Research clearly shows that the most effective leaders are the ones who actively put strategies into action to enhance their own self-awareness. Deepening levels of self-awareness allows leaders to better understand how they might respond under pressure and to align their own self-perception with how they are actually perceived by others. They seek to understand and minimize this ‘perception’ gap.
The quote from the start of this blog post, to me, reflects exactly what it means to lead with authenticity, as leaders have to put themselves out there. They know they will make mistakes and fail from time to time. They also know that they must continually strive to improve and get better. Any master of their craft knows how much practice goes into honing their skills. Just as a professional athlete has put in countless repetitions to improve their skillset, great leaders do the same. They know they have to continually improve, rather than risk the chance of becoming irrelevant and ineffective within their own role.
Asking ourselves the right questions at the right times also allows for genuine self-reflection and with this reflection comes the ability to recalibrate, reframe, and reset as necessary.
Which questions below resonate the most with you based on where you are at with your own leadership journey? Which questions might help you best reflect on your leadership in a way that allows you to deepen your own level of self-awareness? If none of these questions apply, what might be some other questions that are more relevant to you that you need to explore in order to better understand yourself and the growth needed to improve your ability to lead? Please share in the comment box below.