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Hi Kim  

  You cannot give what you do not have   
Get on to a commercial airliner and about halfway through the safety briefing you will hear words to the effect of: “Place the oxygen mask over your nose and mouth before assisting children or those around you.
Far from being an act of selfishness, this is a necessary precaution to ensure you have the capacity and the ability to help the people dearest to you, and those who are geographically closest to you.
Our families and our communities are crying out for leadership. We desperately need the oxygen of hope and purpose, belief and meaning. And as the cabin crew keep reminding us, nemo dat quod non habet. We cannot give what we do not have. We cannot truly lead others, until we first lead ourselves.
In the words of Professors Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner, authors of the highly acclaimed The Leadership Challenge:
Leadership development is self-development. Engineers have computers; painters, canvas and brushes; musicians, instruments. Leaders have only themselves. The instrument of leadership is the self, and mastery of the art of leadership comes from mastery of the self.
Mastering myself means first becoming aware of myself – it entails knowing my strengths and limitations, my hopes and aspirations, my values and beliefs. It requires understanding my communication and behavioural styles, my approach to people and work, my goals and my emotional needs.
Sadly, many people never reach this level of awareness. John Maxwell (The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth) suggests there are three types of people, when it comes to self-development:
  • Those who are confused – they don’t know what they want to do or where they want to go. A great starting point is increasing their self-awareness.
  • Those who are frustrated – they know what they would like to do and even understand the potential they have, but for some reason they don’t do anything about it. They, too, can benefit from a better understanding of themselves as they seek to develop the growth habits.
  • Those who are fulfilled – they know what they would like to do, and they do it. They understand themselves, are passionate about their purpose, and take action to develop themselves in ways that will help them achieve what they have set out to do.
As I gain greater awareness of these dimensions of myself, I can start aligning them with my purpose and vision, and with the needs of my organisation or the people around me. I can start intentionally developing my capacity in those areas, so that I have something to give.
If you are one of the many people looking at the state of the world and wishing you could do something to make a difference – you can!
You can start by developing your self-awareness. Don’t wait for things to get better, or for opportunities to drop into your lap. Don’t expect your community or boss to put that oxygen mask on you; they’re still struggling with their own.
Understand what and how you think, what you value, and why you react to the things you do in the way you do. Know yourself. Breathe it in. And then you can help others do the same.

15 February 2017

Our Logo
The Act Knowledge logo represents three core facets of leadership:
* taking action to deliver outcomes
* nurturing relationships with people, and
* building character

The logo is deliberately unbalanced – the effectiveness of our actions and relationships are tied directly to how well they are supported by our character.

Need to develop greater self-awareness?

The Everything DiSC Workplace Profile can be used by anyone to develop greater self-awareness of thinking and behavioural styles, which can in turn help you improve relationships and effectiveness in dealing with the people around you. By completing the profile, you will also gain an appreciation of why others do what they do, and will learn how to structure your conversations in a manner that will increase understanding - both at work and in social or family settings.

The range of DiSC profiles can be used as a stand-alone product, or can be integrated as part of our Conversational Leadership training program. View a sample profile here.


“Success in the knowledge economy comes to those who know themselves –
their strengths, their values, and how they best perform”.

Peter Drucker , ‘Managing Oneself’, Harvard Business Review 1999.

Download Jurgen's free e-book: Influence Equity
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