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7 Leadership Lessons You Don’t Want to Learn the Hard Way

Source | LinkedIn : By John Eades

Everybody loves to focus on the things you must do to be a great leader. While there is nothing inherently wrong with this approach, it’s often our weaknesses or things we don’t know that end up hurting us the most.

Out of all the information out there in the world, there are things you know (<1%) and things you know you don’t know (max 5%). An then there are things you don’t know that you don’t know (more than 95%.) Oftentimes, it’s what you don’t know that you don’t know that crushes you and inhibits you and your team from reaching its full potential.

Here are a few of those things I had to learn the hard way that your team wants you to learn:

Being Unaware of the Power of Your Ego

Until recently, I didn’t know how or even why I needed to overcome my ego. I now know ego is simply our own self-centered, self-serving, ambition. The desire to be more than, to be recognized for, or to be elevated above others. Ego is a conflict all leaders face yet don’t want to talk about.

The problem with ego is it’s “fake.” People see through it, they know it’s ever-present, and either adjust their behavior to either take advantage of their leader’s ego or disengage and just do what they are told. Ego leads to poor business and life decisions focused solely on the individual and their desires. It’s the opposite of how the great Jackie Robinson thought about leadership when he said, “A life is not important except for the impact it has on other lives.”

Getting Stuck in Your Ways

One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a leader is getting stuck in your ways and being unaware that the world is changing whether you like it or not. Whether that be the way your team drives revenue, the products and services you offer, or an old school leadership approach. This week on the Follow My Lead Podcast, Kathleen Hessert said, “The world has changed around you, you better change too. As my friend Peyton Manning the NFL great says, ‘The goalpost has shifted, have you shifted with it?'”

Lack of Self-Awareness

Gary Vaynerchuk, the CEO of Vayner Media, has been drilling the idea of the importance of self-awareness for years. Vaynerchuck said: “Self-awareness allows people to recognize what things they do best so they can then go hard on those aspects of their life. It also helps you accept your weaknesses.”

Without being immensely self-aware as a leader, you stand almost no chance to have sustained success both in the relationships with people and growth of the company.

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