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Self and Organizational Awareness

A unique overlap of strategy and leadership is the need to have clear awareness. The basis of both practices (strategic action and leading) demand insight into the core of you or your company. This insight into the core is awareness - self-awareness or organizational awareness.

To be self-aware means you have clarity around your strengths and identity, the way you experience life, and the way others react to you.

In organizational terms that means understanding your current situation both internally and externally - in your industry and market. It means knowing how your teams interact with each other and with the stakeholders around you – customers, suppliers, and community. And it means knowing how you are positioned or what your company is known for in the industry and market.

This seems to be pretty basic and straightforward.

But isn’t it sometimes the simplest seeming things that are the hardest to see. The things that become taken for granted, a part of our story, or second nature are hard for us to think about critically. And these simple things are often the most beautiful and important parts.

To build self or organizational awareness requires critical reflection. That means answering a few questions.

For organizations it might sound like:

  • Why do we exist and what is the purpose of our business?

  • What do we wish for our teams? How do we want them to interact with other members of our team and with those outside our walls?

  • What do we do? How do we compare to our competitors? What do our customers think of our business?

For leaders it might sound like:

  • What is my purpose? What do I naturally provide to every situation? What strengths do I have?

  • What do I value? What is important to me?

  • What is my compass? What driving focus keeps me aligned?

Critical reflection for awareness can be a challenging task. But the outcomes for the leader and the organization provide clarity. Being clear about who you are as a leader and about the organization allows you to make the best strategic choices as you move toward your goals.


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