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Great Leadership Begins with Self-Awareness

At the heart of our work is a simple truth — that in order to lead well and to deliver on a vision, a leader must begin with a commitment to the inner work of leading, the work of knowing oneself. To quote our friend and colleague, Dr. Neil Stroul: “Leadership is an inner game, but a public act.

A Public Act

We observe people in positions of authority as they lead and manage.  We listen to their messages.  We note their behaviors and whether or not they “walk the talk.”  We form conclusions not only about their visions, but also their readiness as leaders to take us there.  We decide how much we trust them and whether or not we will give them our loyalty and best efforts. In short, we see their “public act.”  But what about that “inner game?”

An Inner Game

What does it mean to know yourself well?  How does your “inner game” — that unspoken narrative about yourself and the world around you – affect your “public act?” As leaders, we can be at the mercy of the interpretation of others unless they bring self-awareness and skillful self-management to their approaches.  To us, the phrase “lead from within” means beginning with a commitment to growing as a person even as you set visionary direction and work to bring about superb results. Over the past decade and a half, Nebo has worked with countless leaders to illuminate the values and beliefs that drive their behaviors and shape organizational culture.  Nebo coaches provide creative, helpful ways to increase their self-knowledge and emotional intelligence as they come to realize that better leadership always begins with twin practices of self-observation and reflection.

Why Self-awareness Matters

Most coaching clients begin our first session with the statement, “Kate, I consider myself to be pretty self-aware.”  And they are.  Yet the journey of self-awareness is more like the journey of a space shuttle into a vast and fascinating interior galaxy than a series of quick visits to a familiar destination.  In other words, if you are really working on self-awareness, you realize early on that the more you know, the more there is to learn.

When a leader is aware of her own beliefs, values, urgencies and biases, she can choose to make skillful adaptations to her approach that more effectively meet the requirements of the situation at hand.  With self-awareness, she can understand and interpret the effects that her behavior and leadership style have on others and, most importantly, she develops the agility to meet the needs of the situation with effective leadership “moves” in an authentic style.

Our Commitment

At Nebo, we are committed to development of both the “inner game” and “the public act.”  We love helping leaders find an authentic style and voice that reflects the wisdom and humility that comes from knowing oneself well.  Our tag line, “Lead from within” is an invitation to journey within, to come to know your own core beliefs, strengths and values so that you can bring about the positive change you’d like to see in your life and in the world.


Learn more about Nebo’s coaching and leadership development services.

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