To be aware of something is to show realization, perception, or knowledge. It means to be fully cognizant or conscious. Maturing leaders should be this way about themselves. If a leader is truly growing in his or her leadership, then a growing self understanding should be concomitant with their level of influence. The kind of leaders that people are drawn to are this way. Too many leaders remain blind to their own ways of leading and relating to others, which often causes toxic team environments and narcissistic leadership behavior.
Reggie McNeal, in his book Practicing Greatness: 7 Disciplines of Extraordinary Spiritual Leaders, lays out five aspects of the discipline of self awareness:
- Self Knowledge-knowing who you are
- Self Mindfulness-understanding your motives for doing what you do
- Self Vigilance-knowing what makes you tick and what ticks you off
- Self Consciousness-knowing how you come across to others
- Self Alertness-maintaining your emotional, physical, and spiritual condition
These categories provide a great grid for what should become an ever increasing self awareness for every leader. I will go even father. If a spiritual leader is becoming more and more conformed to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29) then that leader should be on a path of increasing self awareness. Jesus Christ was the most self aware person who ever lived. Our increasing understanding about who we, who we are not, and our ongoing need for the gospel propels us toward a lifetime of learning and the opportunity to finish well.