Self-Awareness – the Secret?

As many of you know, the New York Times column, ‘Corner Office’ is a favorite of mine. This past week, Paul Maritz, president and C.E.O. of the software firm VMware, was interviewed by Adam Bryant. Does your team have the Four Essential Types? is meaty, yet almost misleading; as one of the most powerful statements Paul makes is relative to our own personal growth.

He offers: “Almost at any level, the really successful people in organizations are the ones who try to structure their lives to learn, get feedback and be self-aware. That’s not necessarily a natural thing to do, so you have to be very mindful of it.” How true this is.

Visiting with a client today, the conversation revolved around what he wanted to do, what he wanted to become, what he wanted to contribute and offer AND, most importantly, what was holding him back from pursuing those things. He was struggling to become truly aware of what he wanted. He lacked feedback and a true understanding of ‘how he was doing.’ We all need this. We need an outside perspective. As Paul points out, we also need an inside perspective, which is often harder to get! We have to dig deep. We must strive to become self-aware and KNOW ourselves. Then, we must be true to ourselves. We have to look the tiger in the eye and face what we are most afraid of facing. We have to be willing to admit mistakes, learn from them, and keep on moving.

This particular interview struck me with its raw honesty and broad perspective. Worth a read and your comments!