The #1 Person to Know


As they say in business it’s all about who you know. Do you have the right connections to get the job? Do you know anyone to help secure the project? Can so-and-so introduce you to the next deal? 

If the answer is no, what do you do? You network. You hand out business cards, send the LinkedIn InMail, and set up the 1-on-1 coffee meetings. Basically, you get the word out to as many people as possible to see if there are any mutual synergies. After all, we all strive to get ahead and be leaders in our chosen profession. 

This is a fine approach but there’s one person that is often forgotten as we become leaders. There is one person who – if you know them– can provide distinct advantages to help you develop as a leader. The most important person to get to know is… yourself.  

In her Tedx Talk organizational psychologist Dr. Tasha Eurich says, “Self-awareness has countless proven benefits -- stronger relationships, higher performance, more effective leadership.” But she goes on to clarify that, “the bad news [is] 95% of people think that they’re self-aware, but only 10-15% actually are!”

If you’re interested in leadership (and you are if you are reading this) then you’ve likely heard of the book, Emotional intelligence 2.0. In it the authors explain how emotional intelligence is at the core of becoming a successful leader. So, what then is at the core of emotional intelligence? Self-awareness of course! “Self-awareness is a foundational skill; when you have it, it makes the other emotional intelligence skills much easier to use,” they explain. 

All this introspection isn’t just about you by the way. It’s not selfish or self-centered to focus on getting to know yourself better. In fact, it’s the opposite because your team stands to benefit from this inner work you do. The Association for Talent Development’s Matthew Lippincot explains the connection. “Emotional self-awareness also helps leaders link their emotions to the effectiveness of their interactions with others.”

A Harvard Business Review article agrees, “The best thing leaders can do to improve their effectiveness is to become more aware of what motivates them and their decision-making. Self-awareness is crucial when building a team.” 

And since financial results determine if your business sinks or sails a Forbes article notes, “In a study of the stock performance of 486 publicly traded companies, Korn/Ferry International found that companies with strong financial performance tend to have employees with higher levels of self-awareness.” 

So now that we know that self-awareness is a critical component of being a successful leader, I have one question. What are you willing to do today that will help you become more self-aware?  

In his book Today Matters John Maxwell, one of the world’s top leadership experts, writes: “If you don’t already have a good handle on your strengths... Personality tests such as DiSC… can be very helpful.” He explains how tools like DiSC can, “clarify some of your natural inclinations and to reveal some strengths and weakness you aren’t aware of.” 

So what percentage group are you in? The 95% of people who just think that they’re self-aware or the 10-15% who actually are self-aware. 

If you are an entrepreneur (or any kind of leader for that matter), know this... "Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It's the only thing." (quote credited to writer/philosopher/physician Albert Schweitzer).

If you’re interested checking the level of influence you are currently delivering, apply for an Influence Audit through this site and find out how to become a Person of Influence to get improved results out of those around you. 


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