The Power of Self Awareness


There’s nothing worse than a lack of self awareness, special for a leader. If you’re a fan of the the sitcom, The Office, think of branch manager, Michael Scott and his apparently clueless existence. It’s more often sad and uncomfortable than it is funny. But not matter you role at work, school and in a relationship, your ability to identify your strengths and weakness is key in determining whether you are going to navigate life successfully or not.

Self awareness

Regardless of what your mother told you growing up, you’re not wonderful at every task in life. I know that’s a significant blow to your self esteem, but get over it, and fast. I had to. Sobriety in life goes beyond not being drunk. It implies that you can look at yourself honestly and assess your skills and talents as well as the areas you are ignorant, deficient, and just plan inept. I had to make peace with the fact that I’m inept at several things. For one, I cannot fix anything mechanical. I also not good building stuff with my hands, even though I used to be part owner of a cabinet company. I can, however, build a business and assemble a great team. Intuitively, I know what the next steps should be in a business or project, but I hate to spend the resources to do it.

We usually get in trouble when we fail to identify our weaknesses and waste a lot of resources and time fixing the stuff we should not have been involved in the first place. Just ask Gwen about the shelving system I decided to install once. It cost us double: once for me to install it, and then again for someone else to make it right.

But some costs are irrecoverable. A lot of business, church plants, and organizations fail because the leader is not self aware and fails to staff to her weaknesses. Visionary leaders are notorious for not being detail oriented. I don’t care how great the vision is, if you cannot execute, it’s not going anywhere.

I’m not saying that self awareness is an excuse to disregard personal growth. If you are not growing, you are dying and taking those around with you down. But understanding your areas of strengths and weaknesses will help you focus your efforts on your sweet spot and give your career, business, or ministry legs to run.

How self aware are you?

  • Nobody is good at eveything. But when you have a gift, you need to know it and use it. Admitting you are good at something is not arrogant or conceited, but – yes – self aware. You can’t just wait for life to happen to you, but knowing your giftedness allows you to move forward into achievement

  • Steve Shantz

    I’ve always remembered the line by Clint Eastwood in one of his movies. “A man’s gotta know his limits”. Good post Maurilio, and I strongly agree with you that recognizing limitations is no excuse for not growing, learning and stretching.

    • Even in one’s own fashion style! You have lived that principle.

  • John Wetzler

    Think about Elijah. He trusted God, confronted a wicked King, confronted the devil’s minions without fear. Jezebel (who must have been a scary lady) threatens to kill him by sundown and he runs away in fear. Why? I don’t know exactly, but he obviously had a weakness as did Abraham, Moses, Peter, Paul, Thomas and the rest of us. For some reason God reveals something about himself to us through our weaknesses and builds his Church on them. Pretty cool. So I like the post because it reminds us whether its our family, friends, business, church or world we all need each other for something important. Just because some of us may be in the spotlight more than others as leaders, does not mean we need to forget our role as servant to one another regardless of our role in honoring God.

  • No one likes to acknowledge their weaknesses. Or maybe it’s just me. But I’ve heard John Maxwell say a lot that when a leader finally acknowledges his/her weaknesses to themselves and to their team, the team generally responds with “I’m glad you noticed.” The people we work with already know! And if they know but I am not self-aware it becomes a giant obstacle to effective teamwork. I think it’s hard to trust someone who does not have self-awareness (a la yesterday’s post).nnSo I probably need to start asking those I work with more often, if for no other reason than to keep myself accountable (a la Brad Lomenick’s recent posts on his blog

    • I don’t have to ask my team. They volunteer that information quite freely and often. 🙂

  • so true! own the mistakes, continue to grow the strengths and improve the weaknesses where you can! nnthank you for this awesome insight! nn@spreadingJOY

  • The first person who can help you when you have troubles and problems about yourself  is your self. Being aware of what you are able to do, your limitations including your strengths and weaknesses would help you achieve the meaning of your yourself.

  • You are the who can help yourself in times of difficulties. So, it is very primal to know about YOU…You can have more of self awareness at

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