It’s not a secret that continued development is a defining factor of lasting success. There’s truth in the saying, “what got you here won’t get you there.” Too often, I find that we forget about developing ourselves and being honest with the growth opportunities that we face as leaders. This is why I focus on building a mindset of high-level situational awareness when working with others.
Awareness is the foundation in which personal and professional development is built.
Leaders often surround themselves with team members who have abilities and skills that compensate for their own weaknesses. That isn’t necessarily a problem, and I support the thought process to build teams with the best talent possible that maximize individual strengths and abilities. However, I will often push leaders to look at themselves and evaluate whether they’re setting the right example for their team members when it comes to their own growth areas.
The moment leaders find peace in imperfection is the moment when true development can take place. Here’s a condensed story about my imperfections and how recognizing them brought comfort and clarity so that I could become a better leader and person.
It all started in 2016 when I began partnering with an organizational psychologist during a major company restructuring. Our goal was to aid in assessing current and incoming leaders who were crucial to the success of the reorg. This opportunity to partner with Dr. John Mlinarcik was one that defined my thought process about “development.” It also helped me develop an ability to influence others to drive awareness and clarity. Through awareness, employees can often guide their own growth.
Here’s what I learned about myself while working with Dr. John: I’m a “Gregarian.” Gregarians are outgoing and appear adept at knowing what to say with a knack for comforting and influencing others. Apparently, we’re also great conversationalists; we are empathetic, spontaneous, and display a good sense of humor. We’re also team players willing to accomplish goals for the common good.
Here’s the flipside. Under distress, Gregarians get fidgety and often react, speak their mind and let others know where they are coming from. We may retort, pout or even rebel, but eventually, we’ll make amends and return to socializing. I hate to admit it, but this is a fair representation of my personality; so much so that my friends and family nearly fell off their seats when I showed them my entire profile!
This is only scratching the surface–the rest of the report dove further into my critical thinking process and what situations can cause my awareness to decrease.
Knowing that not everyone has a Dr. John to lean on for direction, here are a few ways for you to begin the process of building your own situational awareness:
Focus on the consciousness of your actions, especially when under stress. Under stress, we operate through the limbic function of our brain, the part involved with emotion, learning, and memory. When in a state of stress, you must increase awareness in order to understand and identify why that feeling is present.
As a result of taking an in-depth look at yourself and your thought processes, you can strengthen the culture of your team. Lead by example and allow others to begin finding comfort in their own imperfections. Drive the mindset of awareness, build upon yourself and enjoy the growth process.
Like many others, Corey Burns fell into HR & Talent Acquisition by accident. He got his first taste of Recruiting at a Fortune 500 company, where he quickly found his niche. Fast forward, Corey is now the Director of Recruiting & Development at General RV Center, a parent company comprised of 3 organizations in the Recreational Vehicle industry, Corey has led talent initiatives that have contributed to more than 300% growth in both employee count and revenues.
He formed the company’s Recruiting & Development division in 2013, as the company entered a hyper-growth stage, and he now leads all recruiting, learning, and organizational development strategies. Corey’s approach begins with building trust-based relationships, which lead to talent solutions that support the four pillars of the company’s talent strategy: Attract, Develop, Retain, Grow.
While Corey focuses on strategic initiatives and managing his two teams (Recruiting and Learning & Development), he is a player-coach who thrives on facilitating training’s and picking up hard-to-fill reqs. You can talk to talk to Corey via email or LinkedIn…