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The No. 1 Leadership Skill? Know Thyself

I have seen over and over how creative executives excel when they understand themselves deeply. Self-knowledge helps you navigate from a place of strength. It informs how you know others.

Knowing yourself means knowing your strengths, values and emotions. Picture the body: Strengths are the head, values are the spine, emotions are the heart. We succeed when we make deliberate decisions guided by these areas.


They’re what people count on you for, what makes you you. When you know your strengths, you can find situations where you can use them and shine. You already probably know a lot about what works for you. (No? Try this strengths test.)  But the strengths that got you where you are might need adjusting to get you where you want to go next. Maybe you’re great at written communication, but now, as a manager and leader that needs to influence differently, you need presentation skills.


Values are our individual True Norths. What’s most important to you? Get clear on your values and bring your actions in line with them. A life out of synch with your values will never be sustainable. If you’re feeling blocked or dissatisfied, check in on what your values are and how they play out in your life. Try our values assessment here.


Learn what pushes your buttons and to manage yourself when those buttons get pushed. This “emotional agility” can be the difference between whether you freak out your team during a crisis or bolster them. Knowing your own emotions is the basis for understanding others. It gives you the power to deal with whatever drama or craziness is going on in the room, or inside your head, and still reach your goal.

Intrigued? We talk about stuff like this in The Creative Executive Method ® course open for registration this week!

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