Know yourself and seek self-improvement

Of the eleven leadership principles I was taught in the Marine Corps, I find this one the most aspirational. It is timeless. And in today’s day and age, it is counter-culture. 

It is not a popularized top ten list.  It is not a falsely empowering statement of how to lead a team.  It is not idolizing the psychopathic leadership traits we see in some recent multi-billionaire technologists. No, at its core it is a humanizing virtue. 

Know yourself. And seek self-improvement.

I love the message it sends to all leaders.  You can only be you. You can get better and improve, but in the end, an inspiring leader has to be authentic. 

I love the message that it tells you it is okay to be humble and accept that you have imperfections.  Seeking self-improvement means having the moral courage to ask for help from others. Where? Most literature will tell you to find a senior mentor.  I recommend asking the people you are honored to lead. 

If someone on your team has a skill or talent greater than yours, I recommend you go, sit down at their desk and ask:

 “Tell me, how do you. . . ?” or say,

 “I really liked the work you did on Project X, how did you. . . ?”

You will be amazed at how empowering those simple little conversations can be to your team mates, the level of loyalty you will engender, and you have made an incremental change in your own body knowledge and understanding. 

And I am a big believer in the power of incremental growth.  But that is a story for another time.

Know yourself. And seek self-improvement. 

See thru the storm and let us know if we can help.

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