How to Cultivate Self-Awareness



The higher up you go in the organization, the bigger the disconnect you are likely develop between your perceptions of your leadership and those of the people you lead. It is critical to develop your self-awareness and create a climate of candor so that your team will help you identify your blind spots.



   Self-Assessment Tools


Cover of Ongoing FeedbackOngoing Feedback:How to Get It, How to Use It

By Karen Kirkland and Sam Manoogian

This easy-to-use booklet by the Center for Creative Leadership is the perfect tool for managers who want to get feedback from their subordinates and peers but don't know where to start. Provides excellent and actionable advice on who, when and how to ask for feedback. Includes tips on helping the other person deliver the feedback in a constuctive way. Most importantly, it includes some insightful do's and don't that will help you receive the feedback in a way that will not discourage the feedback-giver from giving you feedback again in the future. Read More...

Fear Your Strengths

Fear Your Strengths

by Robert E. Kaplan and Robert B. Kaiser

While it is important to know your strengths and to cultivate and use them, there is a real risk of overusing them at the managerial and executive level. Kaplan and Kaiser assert that many executives develop blind spots for--and may even disregard--competencies that do not play to their strengths. For example, a manager who has a gift for strategy may neglect operational considerations and vice-versa. This is an extremely useful and practical book that can help you maintain balance in your approach to leadership. Read More...

Primal Leadership

Primal Leadership

By Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee

Primal Leadership highlights the impact a leader's emotions can have on an organization and the need for leaders to be upbeat and positive. It also includes the substance of Goleman's well-known article from the Harvard Business Review, "What Makes a Leader?" in which the author explains the importance of mastering various leadership styles and knowing when to use them.

Strengthsfinder 2.0

By Tom Rath

This book is an amazing tool for identifying your talents and learning how to develop them into true strengths.  It comes with a code you can use to take the Clifton Strengthsfinder online assessment tool.  This Strengthsfinder report provides a customized description of each of your top five talent themes and--more importantly--makes numerous specific suggestions for cultivating them.  Read More...

The Power of Feedback: 35 Principles for Turning Feedback from Others into Personal and Professional Change

By Joseph R. Folkman

Excellent follow-up to Folkman's book The Extraordinary Leader (which he co-authored with Jack Zenger).  In this book, Folkman talks about some of the pitfalls inherent in not acting on feedback and explores some of the reasons we often don't act on the feedback we receive.  He also suggests ways to improve our ability to accept feedback and actually change our behaviors. Highly recommended for anyone who cares about how they are perceived by others.  Click here to read a PDF of Chapter 1.   Read More...