3 Key Layers of Self Awareness That are Guaranteed to Take Your Leadership Development to the Next Level.

Most developing leaders that I know already possess a keen eye and hunger for learning and growth. There is something that burns within them to want to learn more, understand more and grow more in their skills, abilities and leadership potential.

In spite of this innate pull towards development, so many find themselves not really getting there with traction and measurable results paced to their true potential or expectations. Why? Most often it is a simple matter of having not defined an intentional direction to pursue. If we can flip the switch from reactive leadership development, where we try our best to learn all we can during life’s “teachable moments”, to proactive and intentional leadership development that is defined by an easy path to follow, the real results of growth will always soon follow.

Step #1 on the leadership development journey has to begin with self awareness. Leaders have to be highly self aware of exactly what kind of leader they are today, and what they can become tomorrow. They have to intentionally discover all that they can about themselves and what makes them who they are and why. How can we understand and lead others with confidence if we can’t understand and lead ourselves with the same resolve.

Three key areas that we need to do some real and consistent self discovery work in are as follows:

Layer #1 – Personhood: Understanding the incredible uniqueness that God has given to us.

  • What makes me special in this world?
  • What makes me tick?
  • Why do I do the things I do, the way I do them?
  • Why do I respond to things the way I do?
  • What are my true strengths?
  • What am I not good so at?
  • What do others recognize in me that I don’t see myself?

Layer #2 – Passions: Discovering what makes us come alive and what drains the life out of us.

  • Where do I find the most energy in life?
  • Where do I feel the biggest drain of energy in life?
  • What pulls at my heartstrings the most?
  • What causes can I give myself permission to not care about?
  • What do I feel compelled to change about the world?
  • What have I always loved being a part of and connected to?
  • Where do I feel like my investment makes the most difference?

Layer#3 – Purpose: The positive change in the world God created us for and wants us to personally make.

  • How can God use my personhood and passions for His goals?
  • Where am I on my journey with God today?
  • Where do I sense Him calling me towards in the future?
  • What do I need to uncover, to discover, more about God’s specific plan for me?
  • How have I structured my life so that I can hear more clearly from God?
  • What legacy is God telling me to leave behind for future generations?
  • What could my life become if I gave God full permission to direct it?

These 3 starting points must be taken head on with due diligence by us at some point of our leadership development journey. Hopefully very early in life. However, once they are begun, the revelations can take years to unfold. What better reason to be consistent and persistent about truly defining reality in these areas of our lives today.

I wish I would have begun this discovery process many years earlier in life than I did. What a difference it would have made in setting me on the right trajectory towards the abundant life that God has promised us in Him.

Where do you find yourself on this journey today?
Where do you want to be tomorrow?
What will it take to get you there?


About Ken McGarity

With vast experience as a successful entrepreneur and active in ministry leadership for many years, Ken McGarity is most recently engaged as a Church Growth Consultant and Strategist, as well as Christian Leadership Coach to today’s up and coming Christian leaders.

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