Self-Awareness, Identity, and Leader Development
In today’s complex, turbulent organizations, a critical competency for successful leaders is the ability to learn how to deal with the changing demands of the environment and develop the appropriate new skills. There are two overarching personal capabilities that help leaders “learn how to learn” new skills and competencies: self-awareness (or identity) and adaptability (Briscoe and Hall, 1999; Hall, 1986a, 1986b, 2002; Hall and Associates, 1996). Because of the superordinate power of these two personal capabilities in helping the person grow new competencies, I refer to them as “metacompetencies.” This chapter is a detailed examination of one of these metacompetencies: self-awareness. Much less is known about self-awareness in organizations than is known about adaptability.1 I examine the nature of self-awareness, the different theoretical perspectives that have been used to study the concept, what role it plays in leadership development, and what organizations might do to create cultures that promote its development.