One Thing Effective Leaders have Discovered About Leading Well

Over the last few days, I have been involved in helping leaders to understand how they are wired. Effective leaders have discovered that the key to great leadership does not start with leading others it starts with how you lead yourself. The key to being an effective leader is self-awareness. When you don’t know yourself then your patterns of behaviour and actions are all accidental. Making your tendencies visible enables you to make decisions which will increase your influence. You can’t change what you can’t see.

Self-awareness is critical when you want to create a culture of curiosity, innovation and creativity. It begins with you as the leader and extends into the rest of the team or organisation as you give permission for people to know themselves and each other.

“Without self-awareness and the ability to manage our emotions, we often unknowingly lead from hurt, not heart. Not only is this a huge energy suck for us and the people around us, it creates distrust, disengagement, and an eggshell culture.” Brené Brown

Are you unconsciously sabotaging your leadership potential?

When you lead by default you run the risk of behaving in a way which undermines your leadership and damages the people you lead. Self-awareness, if you have the courage to explore it, means you can manage and regulate your on board tendencies to stop you sabotaging your leadership potential.

There are many great tools which will help you get an understanding of how you are wired. Whatever you use to gain understanding for you in your leadership journey will be invaluable. There is nothing like that aha moment when you finally understand how you have been getting in the way of your own success.

3 Things Leadership Self-Awareness Uncovers

There are many things I could look at these three are high on the list you as a leader should know about yourself.

1. Your Strengths – You will know and understand what you are naturally wired to do. Your strengths, gifts, talents, the things you don’t think twice about doing. Every leader can improve in the areas you are great at. You can leverage what you are good at, usually they are the things that energise you. You also discover what you find harder to do. Those things which you have skill in but actually drain you. You will need others to fill those gaps because for them it will be in their strengths.

2. Decision-Making – Knowing what drives your decision making will mean you are able to focus on the information you need. Do you rely on experience and what you can see, hear, feel or touch, the concrete to make decisions? Or is it more about concepts, patterns, ideas and the big picture? To make the best decisions, leaders need to know what drives them and then make sure other voices and views are involved so all information is there to collectively create the best way forward.

3. Blind Spots – Most of us don’t know what we don’t know about ourselves and by their very nature blind spots are difficult to spot. As Brené Brown says unconsciously you can be operating out of past hurts and betrayal. Knowing this means you can do something about it. Today’s courageous leadership is about leading from the heart – aware of how you will react in stressful or painful situations. Knowing where you undermine your leadership means you can take action to change.

Knowing yourself to lead yourself is a life-long journey. The difference it will make to your leadership is huge. I would love to help you take that first step in assessing your onboard tendencies. Contact me at and put 5 Voices in the subject line to get access.

To your success.

Mark Billage

Mark Billage

Mark’s passion is to help realise individuals’ potential, be they leaders or team members, through empowering organisational culture. He has spent 7 years leading an organisation based in the non profit sector. In that time, he focused on creating a culture that enabled and empowered individuals, with the aim of seeing a high performing team better able to achieve the organisation’s mission.

Our Vision

To train and equip leaders to transform culture, build successful teams and organisations where everyone is seen, heard and valued for their unique contribution.

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