The Powerful Link Between Self-Awareness and Better Leadership

The Powerful Link Between Self-Awareness and Better Leadership
Photo Courtesy: Omar L. Harris

One figure stands in the ever-evolving landscape of leadership and management out as a guiding light, a beacon of insight and wisdom. Omar L. Harris, the Founder and Managing Partner at Intent Consulting, is not just a renowned leadership expert but a bestselling, award-winning author. His journey is a testament to the transformative power of self-awareness and its profound impact on leadership. In this article, we delve into the intricate world of self-awareness and how it can elevate leadership to unprecedented heights.

The Quest for Self-Awareness

Leadership is often depicted as a journey from darkness to light, from uncertainty to clarity. For Omar L. Harris, this journey began early in life. He started his first company at the age of 7, demonstrating an innate drive to understand and harness his abilities. This quest for self-awareness led him to explore different facets of life, including music and languages, as he proficiently plays 7 instruments and speaks 5 languages. With an insatiable curiosity, he has ventured to nearly 50 countries, enriching his perspective and insight.

Omar’s path has been marked by exceptional achievements, not only in his professional life but also as an author of eight books, including “Leaderboard: The DNA of High Performance Teams” and “The J.E.D.I. Leader’s Playbook: The Insider’s Guide to Eradicating Injustices, Eliminating Inequities, Expanding Diversity, and Enhancing Inclusion.” His unique journey exemplifies the remarkable synergy between self-awareness and effective leadership.

The Essence of Self-Awareness

In a world where leadership often treads a fine line between ego and empathy, self-awareness emerges as a transformative force. According to Omar L. Harris, “While 85% of people think they are self-aware, only 15% actually are.” This startling revelation underscores the significance of genuine self-awareness in the realm of leadership.

One of the pivotal points that Omar highlights is the existence of two types of self-awareness: intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic self-awareness pertains to what an individual knows about themselves, while extrinsic self-awareness pertains to what others perceive about that individual. The challenge lies in calibrating both aspects at a high level simultaneously. Often, a gap exists between the two, leading to a skewed self-image.

The paradox of self-awareness and success is another facet Omar unravels. It’s common for individuals to become less introspective as they age or achieve success, instead opting to adhere to the tried-and-true methods that have brought them to the top. However, true self-awareness requires constant questioning and a commitment to deepening one’s understanding.

Moreover, self-awareness isn’t a static quality but rather a dynamic, context-dependent trait. What you believe about yourself in a familiar and safe environment may be entirely different in a hostile or unfamiliar setting. Recognizing these variations and blind spots is a crucial step in the journey toward self-awareness.

The Role of Self-Awareness in Leadership

In the world of leadership, self-awareness is the cornerstone of success. Leaders who possess a deep understanding of themselves are better equipped to inspire and guide their teams effectively. Self-awareness fosters empathy, allowing leaders to comprehend the diverse perspectives and needs of their team members.

Omar L. Harris, as a servant leader and J.E.D.I. (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) leadership expert, emphasizes the importance of authentic leadership rooted in self-awareness. He believes that being a J.E.D.I. leader, not just a boss, is the future of corporate leadership. A J.E.D.I. leader is one who recognizes their own biases, privileges, and blind spots, and takes active measures to rectify them in the pursuit of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion.

To Omar, building trust is at the heart of effective leadership. Trust is not simply a transactional element but a deeply relational one. Leaders who are self-aware can navigate the complexities of trust more effectively, forging stronger bonds with their teams and stakeholders.

The Future of Leadership with Self-Awareness

As Omar L. Harris looks toward the future, he envisions becoming the Neil Degrasse Tyson of Modern Leadership. His vision includes launching a global summit series and a new technology platform. By continuing to champion self-awareness as a fundamental component of effective leadership, he seeks to revolutionize the leadership landscape.

In a world where leadership demands authenticity, empathy, and an unwavering commitment to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion, self-awareness emerges as the linchpin of success. The journey to self-awareness, much like the journey to leadership excellence, is a lifelong one, marked by introspection, adaptability, and a willingness to seek guidance from trusted advisors and mentors.

Omar L. Harris’ remarkable journey from self-awareness to leadership excellence serves as an inspiration for new leaders, experienced middle-managers, executives, HR professionals, business students, and DEI experts alike. His insights illuminate the transformative power of self-awareness and its profound implications for leadership. As we navigate the complex terrain of modern leadership, let us embrace self-awareness as the superpower that can unlock the full potential of servant leadership and, in doing so, create a brighter, more inclusive, and equitable future for all.


Connecting with Omar L. Harris


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