The formation of leadership qualities depends not only on whether a person feels capable of reaching certain heights but also on the efforts he or she makes to achieve the result. Training specific skills is one of the conditions that influence the hardness of the character and the ability to realize the set goals. An inalienable feature of a leadership position is self-awareness, and its absence significantly complicates the process of becoming an effective manager. Therefore, the desire for objective and unbiased self-awareness is an essential component of the leading spirit.
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The feeling of Measure and Relevant Features
The self-awareness of an effective leader is extremely high. He or she should be genuinely confident in personal abilities to have the right to lead subordinates or adherents in a chosen direction (Showry and Manasa 16). This self-awareness should certainly be based on the real state of things (experience, knowledge, intuition, ability to manage and make the right decisions). Doubts and self-abasement lead to collapse, and dominance is the manager’s desire for leadership in all circumstances; this quality is manifested in power, ambition, independence, ignoring the authorities (Lowney 96). Dominance is based on the willful character of the leader, self-confidence, and high self-esteem. It is known that effective management is often associated with a strong-willed leader. However, excessive dominance can cause the formation of an autocratic management style with all its shortcomings in those cases where more gentle methods of leadership are more appropriate. Therefore, the sense of proportion should be present; otherwise, leadership can grow into totalitarianism.
The Influence of the Level of Self-Awareness on Leadership Qualities
There is an opinion regarding how the level of self-awareness affects the formation of leadership qualities and acceptance by others. According to Lowney, in managers with a high level of self-awareness, control is combined with an initiative and creative approach to the work performed, as well as the conscious observance of discipline (102). These people are characterized by the desire to delegate authority and share responsibility. They are democratic in making a decision. Thus, in managers with a low level of self-awareness, indulgence prevails towards employees, as well as the lack of exactingness and strict discipline, control, liberalism, familiarity with subordinates, propensity to shift responsibility in decision-making (Lowney 102). Leaders with an average level of development of self-esteem occupy an intermediate position.
Perhaps, such a gradation makes it clear what goals a person can pursue while trying to be a successful leader and adhering to a specific level of self-awareness. Nevertheless, it is hardly possible to become a successful leader without the inclination and vocation for it. In Eastern cultures, the notion of “satori,” which means “enlightenment,” is often encountered and implies a calm and at the same time thoughtful attitude to the surrounding world (Miller 124). The presence of strong-willed character can be trained, as well as a commander’s voice or an active approach to work. However, self-awareness is what a person needs to feel, at the same time adequately assessing qualities and not inclining to either side. Such a measured and thus targeted behavior can be successful to achieve significant heights in the desired sphere and become a recognized leader.
Thus, self-awareness can be considered one of the significant components of the leadership spirit if it is at the right level and is not the cause of deviations from the norm in this or that direction. Ambitious and motivated managers tend to have high enough self-awareness, while people with little desire to lead have this property below the average indicator. Training specific qualities can be an effective step towards becoming a leader.
Lowney, Chris. Heroic Leadership: Best Practices from a 450-year-old Company That Changed the World. Loyola Press, 2010.
Miller, Ed L. God, and Reason: An Invitation to Philosophical Theology. 2nd ed., Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2015.
Showry, Mendemu, and K. V. L. Manasa. “Self-Awareness – Key to Effective Leadership.” IUP Journal of Soft Skills, vol. 8, no. 1, 2014, pp. 15-26.