Get a holistic look at the makings of a great leader. Learn how to take steps to become a more purpose-driven and agile manager of yourself and your team.
(gentle music) - Journey to leadership is long, and to stay on course and not get pulled off, you need a compass. So you need to know where you're going, and then you need to know when you're getting off track, as I was back in my Honeywell days, it was about my ego of chasing a title, rather than being a value-centered leader, who was making a difference in the world. And I think you have to go through those difficult times on that journey. But the idea of true north is to have a sense of what's most important to you or your inner moral compass, if you will. And if you get pulled off by people with bad values, you're chasing money, fame, and power, instead of trying to make a difference. That's when you kind of sense, "Hey, I'm getting, "I'm losing it here." Or you have a team of people around you who will point that out to you as well. And it is that on that journey where you learn about yourself. That's why, I think it's important to have a lot of different experiences during the course of your career. As we say, rubbing up against the world to see, hey, what do I like? What don't I like? What's the real me? And how do I, how to be able to respond, and learn about my leadership, get knocked out. "Yeah, I didn't do a good job there, "what can I do to do better?" (gentle music) Having self-awareness is crucial. I had to learn that the hard way. I went through many years of my life, not being very self-aware. And people like my wife would say, "Bill you've blind spots." And I said, "No, no, I don't have any blind spots." I was that blind that I couldn't see my own blind spots. Blind spots are things that others see about you, and you don't see about yourself. And I wasn't good at reading audiences and knowing how people are interacting and how they're seeing me. I was kind of seeing myself, as I wanted to be seen, not how others saw me. And I think it's true of a lot of leaders. And so there's two ways, actually three, to go through that and gain self-awareness. The first is you have to process your life story and know who you are and where you came from, and deal with your crucibles and find growth opportunities from them. Second, is to have some form of introspective practice. And yes, I recommend taking 20 minutes a day, to do something introspective. This morning I got up and meditated, and it helped give me perspective on the day, and the week that I'm going through. It could be that you go for a jog, you take a long walk, you pray, keep a journal, there are many ways to be introspective, but I think it's critical in this 24/7 world where everyone's hurried and running all the time, and not to let the important get squeezed out by the immediate, not to be on just doing a task list. Well, I think it's essential that you get honest feedback and have a group of people around who would tell you the truth. And it maybe at work, and maybe people that are not at work, maybe longtime friends, but somebody you have to go to say, "Hey, how should I handle this? "How do you think I did? "Give me some feedback." You need that honest feedback, or if people see you going off and getting caught up with what your title is, or just trying to earn money, you need to have people in your life that say, "Hey Bill, this is not the real you, "I see you striving for something "that I hadn't seen before." And you need people like that, They'll tell, and people who tread that path, tried that path before, that have gone down that road, they can say, "Hey, I can see what you're getting into here, "at Harvard Business School, let me give you some advice." And that's invaluable. So those three things, processing your life story in your crucibles, introspection, and some form of honest feedback and truth tellers on your support team. (gentle music)
This course includes videos from:
Bill George, senior fellow at Harvard Business School
Susan David, Harvard Medical School psychologist
Nilofer Merchant, marketing expert and TED speaker (“Sitting Is the Smoking of Our Generation”)Teresa Amabile, coauthor of The Progress Principle and Harvard Business School professorDan Pontefract, author and chief envisioner at TELUS
Note: This course was produced by Big Think. We are pleased to host this content in our library.