Self awareness, the one characteristic that can help you improve very fast. I consider myself quite self-aware, and last month I published a post where I laid out a simple tactic anyone can use to develop culture, think about it like a manual for me. It also laid out some accompanying examples from other people who use a similar tactic, which I found interesting.
It’s been quite some time since I filled out a form, questionnaire, and the like about myself, so last week when I came across an article on INC about the 31 things every leaders needs to know about themselves, I jumped on the opportunity to the answer the questions.
Here they are:
1. What drives you crazy?
Inconsistency, superficiality, laziness, slowness, forgetfulness and poor follow through.
2. What makes you lazy?
TV, I use it to sleep.
3. What gets you excited?
Uncertainty, helping others become better versions of themselves.
4. What’s your preferred outgoing communication style (how do you like to convey information)?
I use a lot of analogies, so stories are my preferred way to communicate.
5. What’s your preferred incoming communication style (how do you like to receive information)?
Straight and to the point. If you want to get ahead of me and avoid me grill you with questions, have lots of details. Not just numbers, but visual details; everything.
6. What type of people can’t you stand?
People who only lookout for themselves. People who are only in it for the money. Simpletons.
7. What type of people do you fall for too easily?
People like me: high energy, passionate, curious, driven and honest.
I also tend to attract people who are not like me, at the other extreme: feelers.
8. To what basic knowledge or skill do you return when faced with a difficult problem?
I go back to my knowledge of human nature, and immerse myself in the challenge.
9. What can’t you know enough about?
The how, why and what of human nature. If you understand humans, you understand everything.
10. About what have you heard all you ever want to know?
11. What type of environment juices you creatively?
Any place where there is a lot of activity: Disney, Las Vegas, raves, night clubs, museums.
Bookstores also get me going…
12. What type of environment drains you creatively?
Anywhere where there isn’t a lot of light.
13. In what type of environment do you most effectively complete tiresome work?
Anywhere, I get things done.
14. In what type of environment do you least effectively complete tiresome work?
Anywhere where there is a lot of noise.
15. When is the best time of day for you to undertake creative work?
6 AM – 10 AM and 9 PM – late at night.
16. When is the worst time of day for you to undertake creative work?
Right after lunch, 3 PM.
17. When is the best time of day for you to undertake tiresome work?
10 AM – 12 PM
18. When is the worst time of day for you to undertake tiresome work?
6 AM – 10 AM and 9 PM – late at night.
19. What is the best day of the week for you to undertake creative work?
Any day, doesn’t take a lot to get my motor going.
20. What is the worst day of the week for you to undertake creative work?
Everyday is a creative day for me.
21. What is the best day of the week for you to undertake tiresome work?
Any day but Friday.
22. What is the worst day of the week for you to undertake tiresome work?
23. Do you have monthly and/or annual ‘creative / tiresome’ time rhythms you should be aware of?
Not that I know of. And if I do, I counter it by disconnecting from the internet.
24. What do you believe your core skill to be?
Discernment. I figure things out rather quickly without a lot of effort.
25. What do you believe you bring most to your organization?
Drive and perspective.
26. What do you take on that you should leave to others?
I like getting my hands dirty and knowing about everything, so I usually have a hard time delegating. But, if I had to pick one activity it is public relations. It is not my strong suit.
27. What do you leave to others that you should be doing?
Not much since I know quite well where I’m strong and own up to.
28. What usually convinces you of the truth of an argument?
Conviction. As I said above, I can fall for people like me who do their homework but are also passionate.
29. What makes you stop listening to people?
Superficial talk, bullshit, and people who speak just to say something.
30. How do you act differently when you’re in a group or team environment?
I don’t, I’m always the same way.
31. How do you act differently when you’re with people you love?
I don’t act any differently, I’m always the same way.
Bottom line: The best thing leaders can to improve their effectiveness is to become more aware of what motivates them and their decision-making.