Engaging the Secret Power of Identity

You’re better at every aspect of leadership when you have a clear sense of personal identity.

The path toward self-knowledge requires self-awareness, but 85% lack self-awareness.*

Find identity in:

  1. Personal story: Experiences and environments that shaped your values, priorities, and self-awareness.
  2. Personal strengths, talents, and abilities: Traits that came to you by birth or development.
  3. Passionate mission: How you aspire to make a difference in the world. You live up to your mission.

You never arrive where you need to go until you catch a glimpse of who you might become.

Identity enables and enhances:

  1. Confidence.**
  2. Self-control.**
  3. Perspective-taking.**
  4. Relationship building.***
  5. Decision-making.***

Identity establishes trajectory.

You move toward your identity.

You move toward perceived strengths and away from perceived weaknesses.

Your identity carries you toward your future. The only way to sabotage the power of your strengths is to focus on improving weaknesses.

Identity enables grit.

I remember being surprised at the grit I found in myself while recovering from a nearly fatal accident. One day I looked in the mirror and saw a bit of my father looking back at me.

Dad’s grit is part of my story. He modeled endurance and it became part of my identity.

A warning about critics:

Critics point out what shouldn’t be done. But you never build a bright future by “NOT DOING.”

Destructive critics work to form you into their image and minimize your identity.

Jerk-hole-critics throw stones from the sidelines. Forget them. Keep moving forward!

Ignore the losers who think they know what you should do, when they aren’t doing it.

The sting of criticism causes tender-hearts to pull back. The critic moves on with their life, while their victim becomes less of who they might become.

Never live down to your critics. Live up to your aspirational identity.

Where might we find our identity?

How does a clear sense of identity enable and enhance leadership?

*What Self-Awareness Really Is

**Self-Awareness and constructive functioning.

***A longitudinal, mixed method evaluation of self-awareness training in the workplace.