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  • Writer's pictureAndrea Nicholas

Self awareness as a leader


A few years into senior leadership, I was blessed to work for a wise boss.


For many problems or situations my peers and I sought his input on, he asked the same question: "Where's your ego on this?"


The first few times he asked any of us this question (and, yes, we compared notes), we found ourselves mumbling something inadequately reassuring or trying, unsuccessfully, to persuade him to see our point of view. Unmoved, he would simply repeat the question.


Of course, we got the hang of it in time. Before seeking his guidance, we did the work. Self-awareness? Check. Objectivity? Got it. Empathy? You bet.


It's funny what stays with you. Several years later, a former co-worker and I got together for lunch. It had been a number of jobs and years since our time there.


I asked him if ever thought about our old boss and his ego question. "All the time. You?" "Same," I said.


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