Last week I went to an outdoor concert in our neighborhood with my family. It was a great turnout with hundreds of people packed into the courtyard of a local shopping area. We set up our lawn chairs and settled in for a nice evening. About fifteen minutes into the concert a woman came and stood two feet in front of me and began talking to some friends. I couldn’t see anything! She was less than an arm’s length away from me and oblivious to her impact on my sightline, even though she was one of the only ones standing.
Her lack of self-awareness wasn’t a big deal. It was annoying, but I could just ask her to move or deal with not being able to see. But when leaders have a similar lack of self-awareness it harms their organization and their reputation.
Self-awareness is a non-negotiable for good leadership and a healthy organization.