In episode 30 of The Knowing Self Knowing Others Podcast, featuring the brilliant Megumi Miki, we talked about quiet leadership, the power of introversion and how introspection and self-awareness are connected.

Megumi emphasises the importance of diversifying leadership styles, not just in terms of gender or other aspects, but in order to bring different perspectives and approaches to leadership. Cognitive diversity is one of the least discussed elements of DEI.

The term “quietly powerful” goes beyond introversion and includes individuals who may appear quiet but possess a strong influence and impact. It challenges the assumption that being quiet means being introverted. You’ll have heard others on my podcast talk about the wisdom of the quieter voices and how organisations need to do more to create environments to give people the opportunity to be heard.

Self-awareness encompasses understanding oneself, including personality traits, triggers, and motives. It also considers cultural conditioning, trauma, ancestry, genetics, and other factors that shape who we are. While some individuals may have a strong understanding of themselves, they may struggle with maintaining self-awareness in the heat of the moment. Situational self-awareness, being fully present and observing one’s thoughts, actions, and emotions, is an important aspect of self-awareness.

Self-awareness means recognising the impact we have on others. It’s not just about understanding ourselves; it’s about being mindful of how our actions and behaviours affect those around us, particularly in leadership roles. Self-awareness is crucial for leaders because it directly impacts their effectiveness. Leaders who are aware of their impact on others and use their power wisely can create positive environments and foster growth. Conversely, leaders who lack self-awareness can cause harm and damage relationships.

As leaders move up the management hierarchy, they possess a greater level of power. Being aware of this power differential is essential, as without self-awareness, leaders can unintentionally misuse or abuse their power.

Effective leadership can be found at all levels and is not limited to individuals in formal leadership positions. True leadership is demonstrated by individuals who influence and inspire others without relying solely on positional power.

A quietly powerful leader possesses the ability to influence and lead others without relying on outward displays of dominance or assertiveness. They have a strong sense of self-awareness, are mindful of their impact, and inspire others to follow willingly.

Make sure you tune in – remember, episodes are now live every Monday!