Self-Awareness For Better Leadership and Decision Making

Updated: Jan 2

The combination of trusting your intuition as well as knowing thyself is the key to being considered an amazing decision maker. Want to know how to tap into this superpower? Read this post to get started in the right direction today!

** Note to reader: This article contains a link to my course Self-Awareness for Better Leadership & Decision Making available on the platform - Teachable**

Leaders vary in personality type, leadership style, and influence but one commonality is the depth of their personal self-awareness. Leaders are extremely aware of the decisions that they execute action on or not and how it affects others within an organization.

What it all boils down to is that leaders are clear about their positions on a topic, aware of their biases, and understand how one could be influenced by internal or external factors.

If your organization has systems in place to make decisions, it will prove to be the easiest path to finding solutions. This is based off of how you handled similar situations in the past which then aids in your creative problem solving skills in the future. Great leaders make decisions that are aligned with the goals of the organization.

This post right here is for all of the leaders who monitor their actions, behaviours and decisions in order to gauge their reactions in situations.

So, what are the important characteristics within a leader?

Some people may say it's vision. While others may say it's influence. But according to Cam Caldwell, Ph.D., author and professor at the University of Illinois at Springfield, he says, "Self-awareness is an effort. It’s a conscious effort to invest in understanding who we are, who others are, our universal rules that [we] apply in life and our commitment to the future.”

Self-awareness is extremely important in ensuring you are viewed as personable, understanding, and human. These are just a few of the qualities great leaders possess and apply to varying business situations.

Just think about how often some leaders limit their influence or cut short their own effectiveness simply because they haven't done the work in understanding how they are viewed by others.

Maybe they haven't taken the time to fully understand their strengths and weaknesses or never took the opportunity to ask a mentor/close friend/ co-worker for their perspective while actively listening to their feedback.

What type of leader are you? A climber or connector?

Effective leaders take responsibility for helping their team win.

The key to success is having an abundance mindset by sharing your expertise with others to benefit from and share too.

This action creates a wave effect and aids in building followers, reputation and community.

Great leaders truly care about the members of their team, connect with team members on a personal and professional level, while understanding who their team members truly are in a genuine way.

Climbers think vertically and are more so focused on advancing their careers.

They always have a sense of who is slightly ahead and behind them in rankings or on the organizational chart.

They are hyper-focused on moving up knowing that moving down is not acceptable.

Climbers cherish competition and are interested in their positions. They may sacrifice whatever they need to in order to obtain success and power.

Climbers are most often concerned with their personal image because they depend on others to promote them within the organizational chart.

This leaves this type of leader needing to appear confident, strong and successful and will do anything to maintain appearances.

Distinguishing one's self from the team is the goal of climbers as to leave everyone behind and advance.

Connectors think horizontally and want to move to where their team members are to aid them in any way they can.

These type of leaders put the needs of the team before their own personal gains.

Connectors are interested in cooperation, building and fostering relationships.

They use their relationships with others to foster cooperation, work on common goals and gain partnerships.

Connectors are concerned with consensus and common ground. This is so that everyone can work together in unity and stand together.

Finding ways to connect to other people in order to get closer and create bridges.

The main reason why good leaders fail at the responsibility to lead is due to the inability of getting along with team members, according to John White (executive; article: the top 7 reasons people lose their jobs)

Here are 5 qualities that can assist you in connecting with others by: Judith Tobin

  1. Appreciation - allows others to see the beauty in differences by considering each other interesting

  2. Sensitivity - Takes into account the feelings of others while understanding personal feelings and moods of others

  3. Consistency - Has the power to reflect the message of authenticity and realism

  4. Security - realizes that helping others win doesn't mean a loss for you

  5. Humor - Laughs at yourself and lessen your sensitivity

So what can a leader do to become a more self-aware leader and decision maker?

  1. Know Thyself -- Strengthen your self-awareness by first recognizing your beliefs. By becoming in-tune with your behaviours and reactions to situations

  2. Leveraging the Perspective of Others -- The insight that you gain from listening actively to the perspective of others is the key to understanding yourself better and catching blind spots

  3. Search for Solutions to Self-Awareness -- Learn how to enhance your self-awareness by following practical advice to develop in this area as well as track long-term activity

  4. Create a Self-Awareness Capsule -- We are not fearful of success or failure, nor do we have a lack of commitment. It all comes down to not having strategies in place to ensure you are being consistent on your journey which means create strong (dated) strategies

  5. Evaluate Your Self-Awareness -- Revising, adjusting and retrying are the simple steps you'll need to learn a new skill, create a new habit or build your self-awareness. This is the section you need to transform challenges into opportunities.

  6. Learn the Best Kept Secrets -- Going through trials and tribulations will leave you with the opportunity to learn more about yourself while learning the level of self-awareness you have within you.


No matter what your dominant leadership style is, it's important to know how to balance ambition with the power of connection.

If you identified with the traits of a climber then remember to focus on building connections with others especially those on your team.

Another tip is to lessen your focus on competitiveness and focus on building genuine relationships along your journey.

Looking at natural connectors, you may have many people like you but you will lack the drive, desire and authority to improve yourself personally and/or professionally.

This means that this leader should be focused on intensifying their efforts in developing themselves, increase your energy, identifying your sense of purpose while increasing the urgency in obtaining success.

If you identified with the traits of a connector then remember to take the initiative to understand your uniqueness, strengths and career goals (outside of the team).

Another tip is to write down personal and professional goals using the s.m.a.r.t goals method as to create the pressure that you need to gain success in a timely manner.

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