One of the areas I am finding interesting in 2016 is people’s perspective or lack of perspective regarding their surroundings.
I think this is a bigger than issue that I realized. Too many people have their heads buried in the sand and have no idea what is happening around them. Seriously – People could care less about national events, company news, personnel news or local news. People simply do not care what is happening around them. I find it very ironic that people can sit right next to each other and one person is informed of what is happening at the company while the other person does not have any idea what is happening.
I do believe this is a growing problem and frankly I have come to the point that some people know what is happening around them and others simply are disengaged or disinterested in what is happening around them.
As a leader, it is critical for me to have a solid understanding of what is happening around me. I think leaders need to continually work at their self awareness of what is happening around them. I make a conscious effort to understand the following:
- what is the mood in the workplace
- what is happening in the news locally, nationally
- what information is affecting our company
- who is trying to connect with me: email, social media
- what kind of call volumes and incoming work are we receiving
- what type of meetings are on the days schedule
- where do I need to be today
- how am I doing with respect to meeting company initiatives
- what is happening in my home life
- are there any issues that need immediate attention
I honestly believe this concept of “Self-Awareness” is not being looked at enough when it comes to developing people for exceptional work. Many people are content to put in their time and not be concerned with any other activity outside of their own work.
People who are aware of their surroundings, are much more comfortable taking calculated risks because they’ve done their homework. In addition, these type of people are the kind of people you want to surround yourself with because they are always looking out for the best interest of the company and their own development.
I’ve worked hard my whole career to develop a sense of awareness and it has paid dividends throughout my career. Now, as a leader, I have taken awareness to a whole new level and I try to empower others to become more aware in their own positions. Some people are very receptive to this approach and these are the difference makers in our company. When people embrace a big-picture mentality, it helps get people looking outside of themselves to discover a whole new way of generating ideas.
My real goal in writing about this topic was to underscore the importance that “self-awareness” will be a differentiator in the digital market. I know I need to learn more and at a faster rate. In addition, I need to be aware of the culture around me and find ways to build upon it and show people that the future is now and that change is very real. If I am not raising the bar daily, someone else is.