A Leader Self-Awareness Checklist

A Leader Self-Awareness Checklist

Do you honestly think you are the best leader you can be? 

The reality is that no one is a perfect leader. We all have weaknesses. 

However, we should all strive to be an effective leader.

Some people quite simply won’t align with your personality or leadership style. 

That’s okay. You will find those people will drive you insane, frustrate you, and ultimately force your development as a leader. 

Think of your “B” and “C” grade students in high school. Were they perfect? Nope, but they were effective enough to meet the objectives levied against them. 

That’s leadership. It’s a close-contact sport that requires a slew of interpersonal skills to be successful. 

In this post, I have included a self-awareness checklist that you as leaders can quickly digest and evaluate your “effectiveness”. 

Leaders — if you discover that you are weak in an area that is…..okay!

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Leadership is a muscle that requires you to be challenged. 

Cheers!


Instructions: Read the question and assess yourself honestly on a scale of 1–4. If you score a 1 or 2, that is considered ineffective and is an area you need to develop in.

There are 10 items in total. One piece of common advice I have for you is that finding a mentor or someone you trust to answer these same questions for you can help identify any blind spots you might have. 

Bottomline: Being self-aware is great….include others as well for additional feedback/awareness. 

“The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been.” — Henry Kissinger

1. Emotional Intelligence

Question: Do I understand and manage my own emotions and the emotions of others?
 — 1: Rarely conscious of my emotions or the emotions of others.
 — 2: Occasionally aware but struggle to manage emotions effectively.
 — 3: Mostly aware and able to handle emotions adequately.
 — 4: Consistently self-aware and capable of effectively managing emotions.
 Course of Action: Attend emotional intelligence training, read a book, or find mentorship to develop this skill further.

“To listen well is as powerful a means of communication and influence as to talk well.” — John Marshal

2. Active Listening

Question: Do I listen to others and demonstrate my attentiveness?
— 1: Often interrupt or show disinterest while others are speaking.
 — 2: Sometimes have difficulty maintaining focus and attentive listening.
 — 3: Mostly attentive but occasional lapses in active listening.
 — 4: Consistently attentive and actively listening to understand others.
 Course of Action: Practice active listening techniques such as paraphrasing and summarizing to improve listening skills.

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“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” — Aristotle

3. Self-Reflection (My favorite!)

Question: Do I reflect on my actions, decisions, and impact as a leader?
 — 1: Rarely take time to reflect on my leadership.
 — 2: Occasionally engage in self-reflection, but it’s not consistent.
 — 3: Mostly reflect on my actions and their consequences.
 — 4: Regularly engage in self-reflection and actively learn from it.
Course of Action: Set aside dedicated time for self-reflection, journaling, or seeking feedback to enhance personal growth.

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“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.” — Albert Einstein

4. Adaptability

Question: Am I comfortable in adapting to change and embracing new perspectives?
 — 1: Strong resistance to change and struggle to consider alternative viewpoints.
 — 2: Occasionally open to change, but prefer stability and familiar methods.
 — 3: Mostly adaptable but hesitant when encountering significant changes.
 — 4: Embrace change, remain open-minded, and actively seek new perspectives.
Course of Action: Sign up for activities that take you out of your comfort zone, and be open to diverse ideas and opinions.

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“By ethics, I mean knowing what is right and doing it.” — Roy Disney

5. Integrity

Question: Do I consistently act in alignment with my values and ethical principles?
 — 1: Frequently compromise my values for personal gain.
 — 2: Occasionally stray from my values but aim to act ethically.
 — 3: Mostly act with integrity but sometimes face difficult ethical decisions.
 — 4: Consistently prioritize ethics and align my actions with my values.
Course of Action: Determine and reinforce your core values, and seek guidance in challenging ethical situations.

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“Empathy is about finding echoes of another person in yourself.” — Mohsin Hamid

6. Empathy

Question: Do I understand and consider the feelings and perspectives of others?
 — 1: Rarely consider the emotions or needs of others.
 — 2: Occasionally recognize others’ emotions but struggle to respond appropriately.
 — 3: Mostly empathetic, but sometimes fail to fully understand others’ perspectives.
 — 4: Consistently demonstrate empathy and understand diverse viewpoints.
Course of Action: Instead of focusing on the solution, actively listen to another person, seek feedback, and put yourself in others’ shoes.

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“The best leaders are the ones most open to scrutiny.” — John C. Maxwell

7. Accountability

Question: Am I accountable for my actions, decisions, and their consequences?
 — 1: Frequently deflect responsibility and blame others for mistakes.
 — 2: Occasionally fail to take accountability but aim to improve.
 — 3: Mostly stand accountable, but sometimes struggle with accepting mistakes.
 — 4: Consistently take responsibility for my actions and their outcomes.
Course of Action: Accept your mistakes, learn from them, and focus on proactive solutions instead of dwelling on failures.

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“Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” — Warren Bennis

8. Visionary Thinking

Question: Do I envision a compelling future and inspire others toward it?
 — 1: Rarely think beyond immediate tasks and lack a clear vision for the future.
 — 2: Occasionally reflect on the future but struggle to inspire others.
 — 3: Mostly have a forward-thinking mindset and inspire others occasionally.
 — 4: Consistently envision and communicate an inspiring future.
Course of Action: Build time in your schedule to focus on the future, build that future in your mind so you can articulate it effectively, and inspire others to share in your vision.

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“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.” — Winston Churchill

9. Resilience

Question: Do I bounce back from setbacks, remain optimistic, and persevere?
 — 1: Frequently give up easily and struggle to recover from failures.
 — 2: Occasionally experience setbacks but aim to bounce back.
 — 3: Mostly resilient but sometimes find it challenging to stay optimistic.
 — 4: Consistently bounce back from setbacks, maintaining optimism and perseverance.
Course of Action: Embrace a hardened mentality by seeking support during challenging times and practicing self-care routinely regardless of hard times or not.

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“Feedback is the breakfast of champions.” — Ken Blanchard

10. Feedback Receptivity

Question: Am I open to receiving constructive feedback and utilizing it for personal development?
 — 1: Frequently defensive and resistant to feedback, dismissing it easily.
 — 2: Occasionally open to feedback but struggle to fully embrace it.
 — 3: Mostly receptive to feedback but sometimes find it difficult to accept.
 — 4: Actively seek and appreciate feedback, integrating it for personal growth.
Course of Action: Actively seek input from others both formally and informally and reflect on feedback received.

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Thank you for reading and investing in becoming a better leader. 

What area were you weakest? Which area were you strongest in?

See you around!

Brandon

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