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by David Kaisar, PhD.

Over at Harvard Business Review, Marshall Goldsmith discusses what he considers the mark of a good leader today, and contrasts it to leaders of the past:

Years ago, when most organizations were based on the hierarchical business model of the Industrial Age, great leaders were those who were unemotional, rational, even mechanistic. Those days are gone. Today’s leader, especially one who is in charge of a dynamic, global organization, finds himself or herself in desperate need of one key trait — self-awareness.

An organization’s success today depends on such a variety of talents and skills that no one leader could possibly be gifted in simultaneously. There are technological issues, global issues, financial issues, human resource issues, leadership issues, employee issues, legal issues, and more. A leader who is self-aware enough to know that he or she is not adept at everything is one who has taken the first step toward being a great leader.

I hear that. He continues on to recommend:

  • Monitor your performance. Note areas in which you excel and need improvement. Communicate these to your team.
  • Realize that failures and mistakes are just one step on the road to success.
  • Recognize that being aware of the impact that your behavior has on other people is a critical leadership skill.
  • Remember that when criticism is difficult to accept, there is probably some truth to it.
  • And, finally, learn to give yourself and others credit for improving.

David Kaiser, PhD, is an Executive Coach who helps his clients make better use of their time, from productivity to living their life’s mission. He is the CEO of Dark Matter Consulting His website is – is a deeply personal issue that everyone decides for himself. Sometimes the price is high, sometimes low. But this is not very important for life. Life is an interesting thing. And the price on Viagra – too.