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The One Thing Leaders Need MORE Than Self Esteem

November 23, 2012

The best leaders typically have high self esteem but often can get confused between having high ego and having high self esteem.
The number one thing leaders need more than self esteem is the ability to self evaluate.

leadersimageA leader who can self evaluate is a leader who can tell when they are leading from ego, when they are leading from insecurity and when they are leading from a position of personal power.

When a leader is leading with his or her ego they are leading in a vacuum, they make decisions without input, they micro manage others because they feel their way is superior and they take all the glory for team success.

When a leader is leading from insecurity then they have low self esteem and they try to make up for their sense of powerlessness by being overbearing, boastful, covering up lack of knowledge and diminishing other team members contributions.

When a leader leads from the ability to self evaluate they have tremendous personal power. They are able to objectively watch themselves and catch when they are leading from ego or insecurity.

You can always tell when a leader has high ability to self evaluate because they will admit when wrong, they will self correct when they have said something inaccurate and they will take full responsibility for their behaviors and actions.

You cannot be a leader who has high self evaluation unless you have high self esteem. The two go hand in hand. In fact a leader who leads from ego or insecurity uses what I call level one awareness where they simply focus on themselves and do not pay attention to or factor in how their behavior is perceived or affects others.

Self Evaluation is a level three awareness where you see yourself as an inter relational being and you are hyper aware of the impact you have on the ‘whole’ of your team. (more about the levels of awareness can be found on my blog)

Here’s a quick checklist to know whether you have the skill to self evaluate:

#1- You observe yourself when interacting with others as if you were ‘watching yourself’ from outside your self and you pay close attention to your words and actions and how they are received by others.

#2- You are able to auto correct when you have said something that might be received negatively and you take immediate personal responsibility.

#3- You know your strengths and you use them BUT you also are very aware of your ‘dark side’ or your weaknesses and rather than try to cover up your vulnerabilities you openly communicate about your areas for development.

So the one thing leaders need more than self esteem is the ability to self evaluate. Inevitably as you self evaluate your self esteem goes up and you are a better leader because of it.

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