“Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.”
In this chapter, I will deal with a subject that many budding leaders fail to master: understanding themselves. When you understand what makes you tick, what drives you, and how you come across to others, you will better be able to lead others. A man or woman who can’t lead himself or herself will never achieve a level of personal power to attract others to his or her team. I’ll share with you some personal stories of leadership, understanding, and growth and challenge you to begin the journey to understand yourself better.
I first took a personality assessment when I was 35 years old. The DISC profile scored me as a high “D,” or driver (the other choices were “I” for influencer, “S” for steady, and “C” for conscientious). It was about 15 more years before I learned that I was overusing my natural communication style. Although the high “D” is good for developing determination and willpower, I overused my dominant style, and it hurt me with people.
I took a 360 degree survey when I was about 50 years old, and it surprised me that I was coming across as overly assertive, aggressive, and authoritarian. Having developed some horrible habits, it was very difficult for me to learn new ways of leading people. Had I had this information much earlier in life, perhaps my effectiveness could have improved sooner. ...