The Self-Aware Leader

I recently finished reading The Self-Aware Leader – A Proven Model for Reinventing Yourself – by Daniel P. Gallagher and Joseph Coastal.

Below are key insights from the book, that I found to be particularly insightful:

Two important keys to leadership success are to: (1) reinvent to remain relevant and (2) make moves that are proactive, not reactive. Middle managers need to be reminded that they are the masters of their own destiny Your position in the middle affords you greater reach and access. You communicate with more players than anyone else at the table, because you are, after all, in the middle of all the action. People look to you before making their own moves and you need to do the same. Self-aware leaders grow on their own, predicting and shaping change by observing the patterns of others to influence their own patterns of behavior.

Perhaps the most important lesson of this book is that it teaches you how to leverage self-awareness in specific ways that drive professional reinvention. The guiding light for your reinvention journey is an interdependent model with three elements: the reinvention of self, the reinvention of others, and the reinvention of business.

Reinvent Self teaches you how to g;row new skills and leverage these on a larger platform on which imaginative ideas become substantive solutions. Reinvent Others teaches you how to use inclusion and collaboration as a tool for increasing the productivity of others, and therefore yourself. Reinvent the Business creates a lens for you to look at your organization, projects, and decisions in terms of profits, products, services, and people.

In the end, readers will walk away from this book with two key takeaways: a new mental framework on leadership, a functional, practical plan for putting it into practice.

Reinvention is about proactively anticipating the need to shift how you create value as a leader. It’s a way of ensuring your relevance as a leader and being ahead of the change curve. Self-awareness is what triggers you to know it s time to reinvent. There are three aspects of the reinvention model: Self: Find new skills that make you more relevant than last year. Others: Find ways to add value by helping others to be more valuable. Business: Find opportunities to upgrade the business before your competition does. Self-aware leaders know to reinvent before being asked. They take time to observe what’s needed and use that insight to adjust their leadership portfolio.

Professional authenticity is about bringing as much of your true self as is appropriate. Appropriateness should be based on what you want (not what your employer wants). Self-awareness of your professional authenticity is like brand management for yourself; you need to understand how others perceive you. Other points emphasized in this chapter include: Self-assessment on variables such as trust, rapport, and feedback from others is one method to analyzing the professional authenticity you have with others. Not bringing your true self to work will negatively influence your personal contentment with work and your ability to productively contribute. Reinvention within professional authenticity is about letting you be you—so you can be more productive and more fulfilled. You could also help do the same with others.

Embrace the fact that business literacy is leadership development. There is an extreme difference between coaching and profitable coaching. It’s no different than the difference between growth and profitable growth. One is simply more, the other is magnificent. Learning the key elements of a coaching conversation is generally simple. Define the difference between a result and a behavior, clarify how to position the conversation so the coachee owns it, and be a good listener through the process. You can use a five-step model and rectangle model or no model at all. What makes the difference between good and great coaches is that they know what drives the business and how their employees contribute. If they look at a weekly or monthly report that shows numerous productivity metrics, how do they know which one they should coach about?

Self-aware leaders know their people and their business. They make decisions every day on what and how to prioritize. If their business is evolving, leaders need to be taught how the definition of success has been altered. As the definition of insanity states, you cannot expect to do the same thing and get different results.

A quick practical read in the areas of personal development and leadership.

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