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The Mark of a Great Leader

| May 11, 2010

by Jim Bruce

Today’s reading is Marshall Goldsmith’s article “The Mark of a Great Leader.”  In the article, Goldsmith says that the key trait of today’s leader is self-awareness.  He goes on to say that self-awareness entails “having a heightened understanding of one’s own behavior, motivators, and competencies – and having ‘emotional intelligence’ – to monitor and manage one’s emotional responses in a variety of situations.”

He goes on to say that self-awareness means understanding one’s individual strengths and weaknesses, striving to improve, and filling in any gaps.  In addition, he says that great leaders let go of the day-to-day activities so that they can focus on strategic and relationship-building efforts.

In Goldsmith’s opinion, self-awareness and personal mastery in leadership are enhanced by:

1.  Monitoring your personal performance.  Identifying where you excell and where you need improvement.  Communicating these to your team.

2.  Realizing that failures and mistakes are just one step on the road to success.

3.  Recognizing that being aware of the impact your behavior has on others is a critical leadership skill.

4.  Remembering that when criticism is difficult to accept, there is probably truth to it.

5.  Learning to give yourself and others credit for improving.

Given the importance of self-awareness, take some time this week to work on this critical competency.


Have a great week.  .  .  .    jim