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The power of self-awareness in inspiring leadership

Cegos Team

In this fast-changing era of business, we're all beginning to agree that leadership is much more than just technical skills. BEING a leader today is not the same as HAVING a leadership status or holding team meetings and debriefings.

Let's get into the subject

Think of a leader you admire.
And now, list the traits or characteristics that make them stand out from the crowd.
I bet that you didn't mentally list things like “uses effective feedback techniques”, “always delegates according to each person's potential”, “analyses data like nobody” or “is exceptionally good at carrying out operational work”.
I believe you’ve come up with answers like “authentic”, “wise”, “brave”, “trustworthy”, or other terms that speak more to their personality than process or results.

Leadership is more than a title or a position; it is an attitude, a presence and a source of inspiration. In a world where change is the only constant and where technology replaces us in many roles, it is crucial to develop what sets us apart: our humanity.

Want to become a genuinely inspiring leader?

Start from the inside out!
True excellence in leadership is based on self-awareness.

The Role of Self-Awareness in Transformative Leadership

Exceptional leaders, today and in the future, are architects of change. Before they can guide their teams, they need to guide themselves. Self-awareness serves as a compass for this journey. Understanding who you are, your strengths and areas for improvement, and dedicating yourself to continual growth empowers you to become an authentic and resonant leader. Such leaders, by focusing on their own development, inspire those around them.

Reflective Practices: a Pathway to Leadership Excellence

In today's demanding and fast-paced world, taking a moment for personal reflection can seem like a luxury. However, this very pause is the key that unlocks excellence. Leaders who invest in this process find wider perspectives, a better understanding of themselves and others and, consequently, more wisdom to guide and serve the development of their teams.

Self-Care and Resilience: Anchors for Modern Leaders

Just as self-awareness is the compass, self-care is the anchor that allows leaders to navigate challenges with resilience. This commitment to self-care demonstrates not only responsibility for oneself, but also sets a positive example for the team.

Recalling here the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People discovered by Stephen Covey, it is precisely habit 7 – Sharpen the Saw -, which allows the other habits to be maintained and leads to consistent and constant effectiveness. Once again, work from the inside out: it's important for a leader to reflect on how they look after themselves as a complete whole, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

Cultivating Empathy for Inspirational and Human-Centric Leadership

Empathy is the natural consequence of a high level of awareness of the complexities of human experience. By understanding our own struggles, joys and pains, we naturally become more open and receptive to the experiences of others.

The leaders who develop empathy through self-awareness foster deeper connections, communicate meaningfully and resolve conflicts with a more human approach. In an organisation, these leaders inspire innovation, build bridges across different perspectives and lay solid foundations for leadership that transcends hierarchical boundaries, creating a culture where every voice is valued, and every challenge is met with care and wisdom.

Conclusion: From the inside out, the leadership of the future

By reflecting on the importance of self-knowledge in leadership, we unveil a path that goes beyond simple techniques or strategies. We open a door to a vast world of possibilities, where this journey of self-discovery empowers leaders to not only enhance their effectiveness but also create a long-lasting impact on organisations and the lives of those they lead.

In the leadership of the future, the greatest power lies in authenticity, in presence, in the inspiration that emanates from leaders who dare to start from the inside out. After all, it's not just about occupying a position or performing a function; it's about cultivating an attitude that transcends the demands of the present, looking towards a future where leadership is the synonym of authenticity, wisdom and resilience.

This article was originally written in Portuguese by Andreia Santos, Consultant, Coach and Project Manager at Cegoc in Portugal, and published in the Cegoc blog.

Written by

Cegos Team

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