Leadership begins with self-awareness and knowing your purpose. I remember realizing this in my first week of my Masters residency. I thought I was going to school to study leadership, but I didn’t realize I was also going to be studying myself. Thus began my journey to understand my strengths and growth opportunities as a leader, and how I can ‘show up’ in a way that positively affects those around me—at work, at home, and in my community. I have learned that a strength overplayed is a weakness, and that by understanding my growth opportunities (affectionately known as weaknesses or blind spots), I can grow, and/or seek out others who have these strengths to support me. I’ve also come to realize that leadership growth is perpetual. With each measure of growth or accomplishment, another opportunity to grow presents itself. And seemingly the more you know, the more there is to learn. Important questions to reflect upon as you grow as a leader are: What do you stand for (what are your values)? What drives you passion? What legacy do you want to leave?
Sandra McDowell, MA, PCC
Author Sandra McDowell is a Certified Executive Coach with a Masters in Leadership and a Certificate in NeuroLeadership, and Vice-President Communications & Culture for First Credit Union & Insurance.