I really enjoyed my conversation with Jeroen Kraaijenbrink in Episode 6 of Series 3 of The Knowing Self Knowing Others Podcast, where we talked about self-awareness, leadership and strategy. Here here’s my Top Takeaways review of our discussion….

Strategy is about relationships, both in terms of developing it and implementing it. Strategy only works if it’s a participative activity, ergo – strategy and self-awareness are connected. There needs to be both organisational awareness of vision, mission and principles along with individuals’ self awareness of their behaviour in developing relationships for strategy development and implementation. The Social engagement you create through the strategy development process is very important.

Jeroen Kraaijenbrink, The Knowing Self Knowing Others Podcast

Self Awareness is being in control of your mind and thoughts so that you can give a controlled response rather than an autonomic reaction. Leadership is about understanding and supporting people, and offering a controlled, calm response in a crisis – not a knee-jerk reaction. To do that you need to understand other people’s throughs, values and aspirations.

Some strategic leaders appear not to be self-reflective, or have lost their ability to be self reflective. It’s difficult to pin down whether this means that they aren’t self aware or whether they’re putting on a mask so as not to show their vulnerability. When a leader gets anxious or worried this permeates through an organisation and maybe some leaders are conflating vulnerability with inability. The bigger the company the greater the pressure to be that strong leader that others want you to be

Jeroen Kraaijenbrink, The Knowing Self Knowing Others Podcast

Commercial leadership and public sector leadership is different, the former being more closely associated with financial success. However, there is a growing need for commercial leaders to have greater regard for employee engagement and wellbeing than ever before, so maybe there’s a gradual coming together of the skills, attributes and behaviours of leaders from across both sectors