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  • Stephen Scott Johnson

Self-Awareness – The Real Catalyst of Team Success

If there’s one thing I’ve come to believe throughout my life and work, it’s that self-acceptance is the essence of personal transformation, and that true and meaningful change begins with cultivating awareness.


Understanding why we act and react the way is game-changing. In personal and professional situations, self-awareness helps us stay on top of triggers, to be more present and in touch with our own and other’s needs and enables us to show up powerfully in life and be seen.

Without self-awareness we are flying blind.

I believe most of the friction I observe in leadership and the teams I work with can be attributed to lack of self-awareness, peppered with assumption (more on that later). Common challenges include:

  • Conflict and tension

  • Low trust and lack of psychological safety

  • Poor collaboration

  • Low engagement

  • Short-term thinking

  • Lack of transparency and information sharing

  • Poor project implementation and delivery

  • People looking out for themselves (and not each other)


Do any of these problems resonate?

Let’s look at the flipside...

According to research by The Potential Project, self-awareness has a more positive impact on leadership than an MBA. The study included more than 1,000 leaders from over 800 companies globally, revealing that self-awareness encourages us to lead ourselves with integrity and authenticity and in turn lead others better. Another study by the College of Business at DePaul University links self-awareness with performance, revealing that teams with high self-awareness make better decisions, function more cohesively, and manage conflict more effectively. It ain’t rocket science – fostering self-awareness has profound benefits for organisations.


In essence, self-awareness is about being honest with yourself about who you are, which makes you a more real and genuine person. As a man who lived in denial for nearly three decades, I can attest to the fact that if you tell yourself anything other than the truth, you will never be happy. In his book, ‘Integrity – The Courage to Meet the Demands of Reality’, Dr. Henry Cloud says “Reality is always your friend – you have to tell yourself the way things really are, not the way you want things to be.”


As we become aware of our patterns of thinking and behaviour, the more we avoid destructive habits like not listening or paying attention to others, dominating conversations, and imposing our opinions on others, which obviously isn’t the hallmark of inspirational leadership. The good news is it doesn’t have to be this way.


If you’d like to cultivate you or your team’s self-awareness in just 15-minutes per-day, send an email to awareness@stephenscottjohnson.com with the words ‘enlighten me’ in the header, and I’ll send you my free guide on developing self-awareness.


Until next time…



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