Great leaders know who they are. They know their strengths, weaknesses, preferences and capabilities. If I asked a leader what his/her greatest accomplishment was, he/she would be able to answer me almost instantaneously. He/She would be able to do this because s/he spent time considering such things about himself/herself. It could be because s/he practices intraspection (the act of self-examination or reflection according to FreeFactFinder.com) or perhaps she/he takes self-assessments or questionnaires regularly. It may even be because he/she makes a habit of asking others for input on things that are noticed about him/her.
It may sound simple to think about what you know about yourself because surely no one knows you better than you. Let me ask you:
What’s your greatest accomplishment?
What’s your greatest weakness?
What are your top 3 strengths?
How would you describe yourself?
How would your closest friends describe you?
If you can answer these questions with relative ease, you probably spend some time paying attention to your inner dialogue and desires. If it is taking you more than a minute to come up with answers or if you have no idea how to answer them, it’s time to dive into the inner recesses of your self to bring these details to the surface.
Knowing yourself opens doors to so much potential. It gives you a better sense of career direction, it helps you to understand how to work with others and let’s face it: it’s much easier to answer the tough interview questions when you have a strong grasp on what makes you tick.
If you’re curious where to begin the journey of inner-self discovery, I have some links to get you started. My personal favourite is the Keirsey Temperament Sorter for personality exploration. If you are familiar with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, it’s based on the same theory and although it is not as in-depth it does give a good indication of key personality preferences. I must give credit to a friend-in-blogging, Jason (aka dadhackblog.wordpress.com), for compiling many of these other great links:
Values: My Plan – Career Assessments
Essential Skills: Government of Canada – Tools, Assessments and Training Support
Learning Styles: Education Planner Learning Assessment
Interests: Your Free Career Test
Work Preferences: CareerPerfect.com
Next Steps: nextsteps.com