Leverage Your Greatest Asset - Musings For Entrepreneurs

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Leadership research is converging on the concept that the best leaders are those who work to become self-aware. Self-awareness is the basis for developing self-control, self-regulation, and social awareness. These three behavioral clusters are essential for managing relationships.  Self-awareness requires partnering with a behavior expert who can provide honest and compassionate feedback.  

Self-awareness is also crucial for job allocation. Some people are outstanding for some jobs, and they are lousy for others. Those who are in a job that is a bad fit are not only going to be unhappy, but they will drain the energy, collaboration, and financial resources of your company.  Often entrepreneurs are pioneers and risk takers. They have good rejection strength. They are creative.  But it is often the case that they are not good managers or task completers. Self-awareness can help functional leaders understand their strengths and development needs, work to improve, and ultimately be more effective. 

Because so many entrepreneurs and startup founders are successful and look dangerous situations directly in the eye without any fear, they may find it difficult to ask for help or confide in a friend in a time of need. They end up feeling isolated and alone, confident that everyone else around them is “making it”.  Minimally it is difficult to create and lead from this position.  Maximally the isolation leads to depression, anxiety and emotional paralysis.  Entrepreneurs also live a “fake it til you make it” kind of lifestyle.  Living this kind of lifestyle can be dangerous. Pushing aside your own issues will eventually tear you up from the inside causing further damage than you may have ever imagined.  

Entrepreneurs tend to work intensely with minimal support for long periods of time.  Self-care goes on the back burner.  Negative results, which are inevitable for a growing company, can lead to low self-esteem, which is linked to depression. Results that did not end in your favor can quickly change your forceful workmanship into depression and anxiety. Mood disorders are often common in entrepreneurs, because they are constantly pushing themselves to work; many of which work on long periods of mania. 

Don’t let your business take you away from the things that are important to you. Make "you" a central part of your business plan. Understand and leverage your own humanity. Become the best leader, employer, partner, parent, and friend you can be. Invest financially and emotionally in a coach who will help you understand and leverage your own humanity.