Self Awareness and Lack Thereof in the C-Suite, Study Reveals
It may seem counter-intuitive to think that C-suite executives lack self-awareness, but that’s exactly what a recent Korn Ferry survey indicates is the most-coached leadership challenge in positions at the top. What’s important to understand is that self-awareness is a hair’s breadth away from Maslow’s self-actualization; it’s a top-tier skill that is light years more complicated than consciousness of self. The good news is that it’s within our grasp, and the most successful business leaders in the world are seeking to be more self-aware.
Self-Awareness in Human Development
This is where public self-awareness splits off from private self-awareness, which is less about our public persona and more about what we feel and our internal dialogue. Self-awareness that is highly developed usually leads to values-based decisions, and may create some issues with self-consciousness.
What This Means for Top Execs
C-suite executives are getting in touch with their self-awareness to become better leaders while becoming co-creators of corporate vision and mission, and they’re doing it based on their own values and beliefs.
Self-Awareness in Practice
C-suite execs who are self-aware are disciplined, dedicated, and know when to say ‘no.’ They’re not afraid to speak up when their values-based vision starts going off the rails, and they can make personal connections without losing focus.
The new buzzwords in business focus almost exclusively on the executive as a person. Action words like “create,” “inspire,” “articulate,” and “communicate,” are appearing much more than “innovation” and “competition.” It’s not a complete takeover, but it’s enough of a sea change to require some serious focus on who executives really are, and encourage them to fully participate in the creative—and very human—process of business direction at the top.