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Randy Sabourin & Cam Anderson
| Leadership Self-Awareness|
by Randy Sabourin
I often find myself in the situation of giving professional advice about whom in a group of 'up and coming' professionals will be a good leader. I coach executives in large and small organizations in a variety of market places and there seems to be one critical common denominator among these leaders; the more self-aware they are about their strengths and weaknesses the more successful they are. A small caveat to that statement- they are not only self-aware but are willing to do something with their self-knowledge.
Being self-aware is a little more difficult than introducing yourself to your self in the mirror or reading (and dismissing) your latest 360 evaluation. Understanding yourself is a complex and ongoing process, one you need to be dedicated to in order to see results. I recently tried an app that tracks the calories you take in at every meal. I've never been a dieter but I found the process very interesting because I became aware of what I was eating, when and what my caloric intake was. Based on that information I started making decisions about what or how much I would eat, I became aware of what I was eating. As the experience continued I recorded the details of each meal less and less, I felt I had gained an understanding and didn't need the feedback any longer. Sure enough the success I had gained by being aware faded and I was back to the same eating habits. I started using the app again and I was back in the groove, reaching my goals, staying aware, and receiving positive reinforcement. The same awareness and feedback cycle is needed in order to increase your leadership self-awareness.
Leadership self-awareness is based on understanding your behavioral preferences, particularly when you are under stress. Anyone can manage his or her behavior in a calm situation; managing behavior under pressure is much harder. Performance in the moment- under pressure- is often the difference between success and failure. Without self-awareness we react to stressful situations consistent with our core behavioral preferences. Behavioral preferences rarely change over time; they are neural pathways created over time and are a combination of nature and nurture that are usually set in our early 20's. If changing them is near impossible then our objective is to manage them along with the stress that exposes them.
Where to start? Read the rest of the article..
Behavioral Based Coaching - Case Study
This case study is a very typical engagement for us. We do not advertise ourselves as a coaching company but inevitably we take on executive coaching responsibilities for individuals after a Team Dynamics or Leadership Development Program. Any professional serious about their development and future should have a coach. This case study outlines our process but I would like to stress that every engagement is driven by the needs of the individual not the process.
Three individuals from various leadership positions (Branch Manager, District VP, Commercial Branch Area Manager) within the Personal and Commercial division of a large Financial Institution required assistance to overcome challenges in inter-personal and communication style. All three individuals have been recognized as potential leaders in the organization and are in line for promotion if these issues can be resolved. The Bank's traditional coaching process had yielded minimal results.