Yesterday, I read an article on self awareness. To be a great leader, one must have self awareness of his/her strengths and weaknesses. One must also be open to listen to feedback and comments from the people he/she works with, irregardless if they are colleagues, subordinates or bosses.
The article struck a chord in me because I have been doing what was mentioned in the article for the last few years. I never failed to ask people I met for the 1st time what were their perception of me. I always like to know what type of image I projected to those people who met me for the 1st time. I didn’t do that to seek compliments, but instead to help me understand myself better and the image I projected to strangers who don’t know me at all. Their feedback will be more genuine and accurate as they don’t have to worry about hurting my feelings if they said something I don’t like to hear 😃!! Basically, they have nothing to lose if they tell me the truth unless they want something from me. But most of the people I met didn’t have any ulterior motives because I’m neither rich or famous or have something valuable to offer so I am of no value to them even if they piled me with compliments. HeHe!!
Aside from the 1st timer, I also asked people I know for a long time, such as friends, business associates, ex-bosses, family and relatives. These people have either known me since I was borne or my childhood friends or friends I met during my working life or business associates I met when I first joined the real estate business or ex-bosses I have worked with directly for a few years. All the people in this group have played a role and a part in my life, some more, some less, some directly, some indirectly. But no matter how much were their contributions, they did or still does helped in shaping me into who I am today. I am deeply grateful and thankful to them for willing to share their thoughts, opinions and views about me honestly and openly. Without their valuable inputs, I might not turned out the person I am today. Over the last 10years, I have changed a lot and the most in my entire life. 2 persons in this group were my mentors. They have guided me a lot in my career and have also opened up my eyes to the opportunities that lies beyond my own little backyard. They showed me that my world need not be just so small or just a corner, but instead it can be as big and huge as I want to be if only I dare to draw and carve the boundary myself.
They made me looked deep inside myself, my strengths and weaknesses so that I can better understand myself, my wants, my desires and my needs. They told me that I can only succeed if I have self awareness of who I am inside me. I took their words to heart and constantly take time out to reflect about my past actions, modify my present actions and plan my future actions.
I also learned from my parents. From my dad, I learned the good and bad. My dad most admirable traits are his very positive thinking and never gave up attitude. No matter how many times he failed in his business ventures or how badly he fell from the epitome of his career, he always climbed back up. He never allows negativity to take him down for long. His fighting spirit keeps him going and stays optimistic about life 😃!
So you see, my positive vibes come from my dad. Hehehe! But then, my dad positive nature is also his biggest weakness because sometimes he choose to ignore all the negative signals as he doesn’t believes that things can actually goes wrong. He nevers have a plan B because he thinks plan A will not fail. And when it did, he was left in a limbo. When this happened, I have to step in to rescue him and I have done it numerous times until I’m fed up with him already. I told him I will not bailed him out anymore so he better have plan B and don’t be so optimistic until he is oblivion to the negative signals that are all around him. I would say my dad lacks self awareness of his own capabilities and abilities. Knowing your strengths, weaknesses and limitations are key ingredients to being successful in life. And my dad just doesn’t has it. So sad as he is a smart and creative man. If only he learned from his past failures and listened to his daughter, me, he might be a worry-free man, unlike now. Anyway, he is my dad. No matter what he did or does, I will still love him even though sometimes I feel like strangling him 😃! Haha
From my mum – I learned not to be like her. My mum doesn’t have any admirable traits for me to adopt. The only thing I could adopt is not to be like her at all. I want to be the total opposite of her. My mum isn’t a bad person. Is just that she doesn’t knows how to be a role model mum only. I have accepted this fact long time ago and I still love her because she is my mum. Just that my tolerance for her misbehavior is lesser than my tolerance for my dad!! I’m more a daddy’s girl than a mummy’s girl!! Hahaha!
As for my friends, they told me honestly and directly in my face if they think I act up or my attitude stinks. They never cut me any slack when it comes to bashing me for my shitty behaviors. They set me straight and couldn’t care less if they hurt my feelings with their honest thoughts and comments. They give my their view and opinion as raw as it can get. They are there to remind me not to be a jackass when I unconsciously turn into one. Wakakakaka!! I am a better person because of my friends 😉.
And lastly, I asked my staffs what they think of me and listened to their feedback and comments with open mind. I know that to be a good boss and leader, I need to set and lead by examples.And because I had worked under bosses before, therefore, I could draw examples of what I likes and dislikes in a boss so that I don’t repeat the same mistakes committed by my ex-bosses. I tried my best to be a good boss and leader using the strengths, weaknesses and limitations I possess and I hope I have done a good job. I review them and they also review me. Seeing that they are still working with me, I would say I am doing quite a good job 😉!! Can’t avoid complimenting myself. Haha
Self-awareness is not only important to help me to become a good leader and boss, but it is also very important to me to become a better human being. Without having self-awareness of myself, I wouldn’t know what I need to do to improve or what to change or what not to do so that I can be a better human being. And before I can expect anyone to understand me, I need to understand myself first. That’s why I like to take time out to go away and be alone because this is the time I can think and reflect back without any interruption. I’m so happy that at this time next week I will be in Koh Samui and enjoying a good break from my busy and hectic life 😉.