Leadership Development: Paths to Self-Insight and Professional Growth

By Manuel London | Go to book overview

PREFACE
Self-awareness is key to being a responsive and effective leader. Effective leadership requires that leaders know how others react to them, what others expect from them, whether others believe they are doing a good job, and what they can do to improve. Leaders' learning about themselves and their environment is a continuous process that is largely under their control. This book explores the ways leaders gain and use self-knowledge for continuous improvement and career development. As such, it explains how leaders can help themselves and their coworkers understand themselves and become more self-determined, continuous learners, and make the most of resources (e.g., feedback and coaching) to foster their own continuous learning and development.The book addresses questions, such as:
What are the distinguishing characteristics of an effective leader?
Do leaders see themselves as others see them?
Do leaders welcome and seek information about themselves?
Do leaders vary their behavior depending on the situation? Are they responsive to others' needs and expectations?
Do leaders understand what the organization and their coworkers expect of them?
Are leaders clear about what they expect from the people who report to them?
When do leaders have self-control; under what conditions are they self-motivated?
Are leaders motivated to learn more about themselves?
When leaders receive information about themselves, do they put it to good use or ignore it?
How do leaders react when the going gets tough, that is, when things are stressful or they do not get the job or promotion they expected?

Self-awareness is seeing yourself in an objective way. It is an important basis for being a self-confident and sensitive leader, on the one hand, or an egotistical and manipulative one, on the other. This, in turn, influences the way others see you—as responsive, energetic, self-motivated, and visionary; or as self-serving, Machiavellian, demanding, and confused (or confusing).

As leaders gain information about themselves, they attend to it, interpret it, absorb it in their self-concepts, and then apply it to change their behavior appropriately. Often, however, leaders are overly defensive, resistant, or too shy to even listen to feedback about themselves, let alone understand and use it.

Learning to use feedback puts leaders on track to become continuous learners. Using feedback and becoming a continuous learner allows leaders to benefit from their leadership experiences, transfer this learning to new situa

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