Last week, I read a Harvard Business Review article that mentioned “only 10% of managers move their organizations forward.” This begs the question, what the heck are the other 90% doing? The article’s response to this question was “Short on self-awareness, they don’t ask themselves the hard questions required to examine — and improve — their leadership skills.”
Self-awareness, as you know by now if you’ve been reading my blogs, is a key component and often the first step in Emotional Intelligence. It sounds awfully simple. If you hear a car honk its horn, you are likely to pause and assess the situation to determine whether you or someone else is in some form of danger. This is in part what self-awareness is.
Yet, we don’t respond the same way with many verbal and non-verbal signals that our peers and family members constantly give us. We attend several meetings every day at work without really paying attention to the people in there and noticing whether they are actually present in mind and spirit in addition to the obvious body presence. We have dinner with our family members and don’t pay attention to what our spouses, significant others, and children are saying or really trying to tell us.
It’s easier to be in this state. One doesn’t have to be sincere, creative in questioning, or have to take the risk of learning, changing, and making things better. According to the article, only 10% of us do this. How terribly sad for the 90% and all the people around them. Self-awareness is a powerful and incredibly rich way of living. Pay attention to what is around you using a deeper sense. Monitor the emotional impact of doing so. This is the bedbrock or creativity, passion, impetus for change, and courage to seek questions and answers to life’s challenges.