Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Sense of Awareness by Barbara Baggerly-Hinojosa
Robert K. Greenleaf (1970) described awareness as a disturber and awakener.  In order to lead more effectively, one must have a keen sense of awareness.  A general awareness, as well as a self- awareness, is necessary for a leader to ensure that the correct actions are taken. 

Photo Credits: Google Images
Many times we all know of things that are just not right, but we hesitate to acknowledge them because then by the sheer fact of awareness we are responsible for doing something.  It is much easier to stick our heads in the sand and not allow ourselves to be aware of things around us that may need changing. 

Kouzes and Posner (2007) listed Self- Awareness as one of the domains of Emotional Intelligence.  The authors explain that if a leader is not aware of his/her strengths and weaknesses, then there is no path for improvement.  Goleman, Boyatzis, and McKee (2002) also describe Self-Awareness as a key characteristic of Resonant Leadership.  The authors state, “simply put, self-awareness means having a deep understanding of one’s values and motives” (p. 40). 

Leaders who are self-aware know exactly where they are going because they understand their values, goals, and dreams.   According to Kouzes and Posner (2007), “learning to be a better leader requires great self-awareness, and it requires making ourselves vulnerable.  Modeling that for others makes it easier for them to do the same when it becomes their turn” (p. 87). These leaders typically engage in self reflection and time of thought. 

In order to be able to address weaknesses that were discovered through the process of becoming self-aware, the following should be considered.

·         Step back and gain perspective
·         Ask yourself what new skills and knowledge you need
·         Set goals and make a plan
·         Get help and support from others

Barbara Baggerly-Hinojosa is a mother, educator, and wife living in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas.  She is a PhD student with Our Lady of the Lake University in Leadership Studies.  Mrs. Baggerly-Hinojosa is the President of the Leadership Empowerment Group, LLC and is currently researching the relationship between the leadership of the high school principal and the high school drop out rate.  Mrs. Baggerly-Hinojosa is the author of Are You A Ten?  The Ten Characteristics of a Servant Leader.   

For ordering information, please contact Mrs. Baggerly-Hinojosa at or visit and Barnes and

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