Four Lessons of Self-Knowledge for Leaders

One of the approaches I like about Warren Bennis and his theories in the book On Becoming a Leader is that he puts the impetus on the leader to go out and better himself. There’s nothing handed to you — whether it’s proactively finding a mentor, reading books, or learning from peers, the onus is on you.

In the book the author offers up four lessons of self-knowledge for leaders (pg 52):

  • One: You are your own best teacher.
  • Two: Accept responsibility. Blame no one.
  • Three: You can learn anything you want to learn.
  • Four: True understanding comes from reflecting on your experience.

The best leaders I know are the ones who are constantly engaged in learning. And the learning doesn’t have to be specific to their industry, rather they are passionate learners about a multitude of things, of which they draw parallels and patterns in their efforts to be a better leader.

What else? What do you think of these four lessons of self-knowledge for leaders?

4 thoughts on “Four Lessons of Self-Knowledge for Leaders

  1. I like it. For me it comes down to curiosity. You have to be engaged by the world around you; enamoured with it and all it’s parts. I have never met a good leader who wasn’t. There are lessons to be learned everywhere.

  2. Serve. Demonstrate service by “going deep” into the organization to help people, even in the most simple ways. You can’t help everyone but by showing your servant heart, the rest of the organization will take notice of your humility and other-centeredness. And by your demonstration you will foster a culture of service and other-centerendness.. and the employees can’t help but rally behind you.

    Andy Stanley does this so well at North Point.

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