Self-Perception on the Path to Leadership Growth

March 2008

As I mentioned in my last Musings letter, I recently took The Leadership Circle Profile, which is a 360º assessment.  First of all, thanks to those of you who participated as raters for me in this Profile.  I truly appreciated the fact that so many clients and colleagues took the time to respond to the instrument for me.

The Profile measures eighteen leadership competencies which have been researched and shown to be the most critical behaviors and skill sets for leaders.  Competencies are divided into creative and reactive competencies.  While the instrument is far too sophisticated and complex to explain here (and I am not certified in this instrument, although I plan to be by next fall), just let me say that it is a powerful tool.  I learned more about myself from this Profile, and the debriefings with my coach, than I could ever have imagined.  It caused me to see myself and my leadership skills in an entirely new light.

One theme that the Profile reflected was that I tend to see myself differently than how others see me.  My coach encouraged me to step back and examine what is causing this disconnect between self-perception and what others see.  One thing I realize is that I can become stuck in seeing myself in old ways, not necessarily aligned with my current way of being.  The interesting thing (to me) about this is that one of my greatest longings is to be known by others I am close to.  So, I am committed to knowing myself better, and at the same time to loosening my hold on beliefs about myself which may no longer be true.  Coupled with that is a genuine desire to serve others by sharing whatever leadership gifts I may have, and in the process reveal more of who I truly am.

My coach left me with a long list of various questions to ponder, which I will do by writing in my journal and thinking more about some of the insights the Profile provided me.  The experience of being coached was both a welcome and challenging one, and I was reminded again how much I value opportunities for professional and personal development.  I just want you to know that I am on that path, alongside you, in discovering more about myself, my gifts, and my areas for potential growth.  Here’s to a month of exciting discoveries for both of us.

Sharon Keys Seal

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